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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:37 am

CHAPTER INDEX

- MAY 14 AND 15, 2006: WARM-UP GIGS AT THE HAMMERSTEIN BALLROM
- MAY 17, 2006: IZZY RETURNS TO PLAY FOR THE FINAL SHOW AT HAMMERSTEIN BALLROOM
- MAY 19, 2006: AXL FIGHTS TOMMY HILFIGER
- MAY 19, 2006: THE PLUMM, PLAYING AT ROSARIO DAWSON'S BIRTHDAY PARTY
- LOOKING BACK AT THE MAY 2006 WARM-UP SHOWS
- THE FANS' LOYALTY
- GUNS N' ROSES AND ITS FAN FORUMS
- MAY 25-JUNE 8, 2006: THE EUROPEAN TOUR
- MANAGING THE VOICE
- JUNE 11, 2006: A DIFFICULT RETURN TO DONINGTON
- JUNE 13-20, 2006: THE EUROPEAN TOUR CONTINUES
- JUNE 21, 2006: BRAIN LEAVES THE BAND
- BRAIN AFTER GUNS N' ROSES
- JUNE 21, 2006: FRANK FERRER JOINS THE BAND
- FRANK BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES
- JUNE 24-26, 2006: THE EUROPEAN TOUR CONTINUES
- JUNE 27, 2006: AXL BRAWLS AT BERNS HOTEL IN STOCKHOLM
- JUNE 28-JULY 30, 2006: THE FINAL PART OF THE EUROPEAN TOUR
LOOKING BACK AT THE 2006 EUROPEAN TOUR
- SETLIST DISCUSSIONS
- MAY-NOVEMBER 2006: CHINESE DEMOCRACY TO BE RELEASED IN 2006? "13 TUESDAYS LEFT"
- OTHER ARTISTS TALKING ABOUT THE RECORD COMING OUT IN 2006
- SEPTEMBER 9-23, 2006: WARM-UP SHOWS BEFORE THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR
- OCTOBER 2006: GN'R LICENSES 'WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE' AND 'BETTER' FOR A HARLEY-DAVIDSON COMMERCIAL
- OCTOBER 24-NOVEMBER 8, 2006: THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR STARTS
- THE LATE STARTS II
- NOVEMBER 6, 2006: THE PORTLAND SHOW IS CANCELLED
- NOVEMBER 8-10, 2006: THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR CONTINUES
- NOVEMBER 11, 2006: MERCK AND GUNS N' ROSES LEAVE SANCTUARY
- NOVEMBER 13, 2006: AXL ATTENDS PARKINSON'S DISEASE FUNDRAISER
- NOVEMBER 13-21, 2006: THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR CONTINUES
- NOVEMBER 24-25, 2006: "PIGEONS OF SHIT METAL"
- AXL IS ILL, NOVEMBER 29 MILWAUKEE SHOW CANCELLED
- DECEMBER 1 AND 2, 2006: THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR CONTINUES
- DECEMBER 4-15, 2006: THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR CONTINUES; GUNS N' BUBBLES
- DECEMBER 2006: CHINESE DEMOCRACY IS STILL NOT FINISHED; A TENTATIVE RELEASE DATE OF MARCH 6, 2007
- JANUARY 10-16, 2007, SHOWS ARE CANCELLED TO FINISH CHINESE DEMOCRACY
- DECEMBER 14, 2006: MERCK IS OUT
- DECEMBER 17-20, 2006: THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR CONCLUDES; RETURN OF IZZY
- LOOKING BACK AT THE 2006 TOURING


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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:39 am

MAY 14 AND 15, 2006
WARM-UP GIGS AT THE HAMMERSTEIN BALLROM


MAY 14: HAMMERSTEIN BALLROM


From a review in The Washington Post:

The guy hasn't lost many steps, though he hasn't added any new ones, either. Guns N' Roses seems like a band that has become a nostalgia act against its will, which is perhaps inevitable given the dearth of new material and the durability of the hits it recorded nearly 20 years ago. A good chunk of the crowd wasn't born when "Appetite for Destruction" was released in 1987 and turned GNR into the last great heavy-metal phenomenon.

[...]

But Rose, 44, has lost some decibels. At times the music all but smothered his voice, and whenever there was a break in vocal duties he bolted offstage, adding to the sense that he was struggling. Sunday was just the second night of the band's tour, which is supposed to head to Europe this summer. Rose explained halfway through the show that he could sing only after the miraculous intervention of a throat doctor.


And from a review in New York Daily News:

Someone must have given Axl Rose a personality transplant. At a rare Guns N' Roses show at Hammerstein Ballroom on Sunday, rock's most celebrated loon often acted like the perfect gentleman. He smiled broadly, cracked jokes, thanked the crowd incessantly and even saluted his mom for Mother's Day.



MAY 15, HAMMERSTEIN BALLROM


Before this show, Axl apparently got a good-luck call from Izzy [Reuters/Hollywood Reporter, May 16, 2006].

From a review in Reuters/Hollywood Reporter:

In the third of four immediately sold-out shows at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, Axl and company delivered a solid and vigorous performance that was all the more remarkable for the fact that it went on at all. Of course, some things haven't changed. The band didn't hit the stage until after 11 p.m., 3 1/2 hours after the doors opened. Presumably, because they went on at exactly the same late hour every night, it was less about unavoidable delays than about building audience anticipation. What, 10 years isn't enough?


And from a review in NME:

As amazing as it is to hear set-closer ‘Paradise City’ played live amid clouds of yellow and pink confetti, it’s the quieter moments throughout the night that resonate the most. Seeing Axl nervously sit at his piano and pound out the opening notes to ‘November Rain’ behind a wall of floor-to-ceiling sparklers, it’s hard not to marvel at the long-lost power of the rock ballad. This generation of art-school punks may have the Gang Of Four riff down, but the potency of the badass rocker wailing his heart out for a girl is totally unparalleled. In many ways the current version of Guns N’ Roses is a pastiche, a cheap approximation of the original, with every swivel of Axl’s hips and every would-be Slash solo trying valiantly to measure up to the originals we all secretly love, but frankly the songs are so epic and transcendent and undeniable that it doesn’t matter.
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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:39 am

MAY 17, 2006
IZZY RETURNS TO PLAY FOR THE FINAL SHOW AT HAMMERSTEIN BALLROOM


While spending time in New York before the Hammerstein Ballroom shows, Axl would hang out with Izzy [Eddie Trunk's Friday Night Rocks, May 5, 2006], including eating dinner with his on Izzy's birthday om April 11 [Sp1at, May 3, 2006], and in an interview on May 5 Axl would indicate that Izzy might show up at one of the gigs:

[Izzy is] probably gonna be out here. He might show up for the shows or something, we'll see. [...]  I don't know, I don't mean like being vague. I have no idea. Izzy does what Izzy does. I mean, it's like, you talk to Izzy one day and then you think hey we're gonna go over here to this record store but whatever. The next day you find out he's in Trinidad you know...or he's like, no I just had to go to the desert and do donuts in Nevada, you know. He races like hardcore racing trucks in Baha. He does stuff like that, so...


Later, Izzy would talk about how it came to happen:

Axl and I connected via cell phone [digital] this year [...]


And for the fourth and final warm-up show at Hammerstein Ballroom, on May 17, Izzy would join the band, taking the stage for the songs Think About You, Patience and - together with Kid Rock - Nightrain.

Izzy joined us, Kid Rock joined us, Sebastian Bach joined us... Izzy was great, except he was supposed to do the last song, Paradise [City], with us, but he left because he had to get up early. [laughter] [...] We couldn’t really understand it. Like, one more song. Wow, dude. And, I mean, you know, I had an after-party planned, then I had an after-after-party planned, then I had the after-after-after-party planned. And he had to leave just before the encore.


From a review in MTV News:

On Wednesday night, during the band's fourth and final warm-up show at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, the much-rumored reunion of Axl with erstwhile GN'R guitarist Izzy Stradlin finally came to pass.

[...]

Rose introduced Stradlin before "Think About You" — although his comments were almost immediately drowned out by screams from the audience as the guitarist strutted onstage. The two hugged before launching into the number, and one eyewitness reported seeing Stradlin's eyes welling with tears during "Patience."
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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:40 am

MAY 19, 2006
AXL FIGHTS TOMMY HILFIGER


MAY 13: BETA IN A SCUFFLE


On May 13, Axl's assistant Beta Lebeis would get in a scuffle at the Tribeca Grand with some other partiers:

I was having a conversation with Sean Penn when these girls bumped into us. At first we ignored it, but they seemed fixated on my assistant, and did it again.


According to the Village, Beta had chalked it up to a bunch of "drunk girls and name calling" [The Village, May 14, 2006]


MAY 19: AXL FIGHTS TOMMY HILFIGER


Right before the band was about to play an acoustic show at the club The Plumm in honor of Rosario Dawson's birthday, Axl got in a fight with Tommy Hilfiger:

[Hilfiger], like, called me out. It was insane. It was, like, the most surreal thing, I think, that’s ever happened to me in my life. [...]


Explaining what had happened:

Because I moved his girlfriend’s drink so that it wouldn’t spill. [...] Well, he first, like, smacked me in the arm to put it back. I said, “I don’t want it to spill,” and he said, “It’s not gonna spill,” and I said, “Well, I don’t wanna sit on it,” and he said, “You’re not gonna ‘blanking’ sit on it.” Then he just kept smacking me. I tried to ignore him and I told him to leave me alone. Then he grabbed my arm and I told him, you know, to let go of my “blanking” arm, and he said he doesn’t have to let go of my “blanking”- [...] I haven’t experienced more hatred and twisted – whatever – from a cop! I was jazzed. They go, “Hey, this is your booth and Tommy Hilfiger’s there,” and I’m like, “Okay, I don’t know him from Adam. But hey, cool.” I mean, I’ve never – I don’t know that I’ve met anybody more twisted in the last... [...] His own security beat his ass and threw him out of the door.

Kid Rock was there. And Kid Rock is telling me, he goes, “Dude, I was sitting there, man, and it was so Detroit. I couldn’t believe it.”


An anonymous witness would describe the incident:

First [Axl and Tommy] were sitting. Then they were pulling on each other . . . It got so out of control. [...] A bunch of security ran over – but Tommy would not back down. He was just out to take him down.


During the following performance, Axl would dedicate 'You're Crazy' to "my good friend Tommy Hilfiger" [Associated Press, May 20, 2006].

Owner of the nightclub, Noel Ashman, would say the fight had only consisted of Hilfiger taking two swings at Axl before being restrained, and that he was happy Axl had shown professionality:

There was an issue between the two of them. [...] I was very happy that Axl showed restraint. He went on and performed anyway.

Axl was a gentleman and had the good sense not to retaliate, as he would have done some serious damage to Hilfiger.


Co-owner of Plumm, Michael Ault would claim Lenny Kravitz gave Axl boxing lessons at the club after the fight:

Tommy H. was able to land more than a few punches against Axl -- presumably the boxing lessons may help prevent that in the future.


Other media would claim Kravitz left the club together with Hilfinger after the fight [New York Post, May 20, 2006].



Front page from The New York Post
May 20, 2006


According to the New York Post, Axl would later talk to Mark Kostabi (the artist behind the Use Your Illusion cover artwork) and state that he was amused over the picture above:

I don't hold any grudge against him. I just don't understand him. I loved the way the photo in The Post made it look like [Hilfiger] was doing karate chops!



The same day, Guns N' Roses would send out the following press release:

Tommy Hilfiger was carried away by his own security people kicking and screaming after attempting to pick a fight with Guns N' Roses main man Axl Rose at The Plumm on Thursday night.

According Ashman, Hilfiger who took two swings at Rose, was fortunate that he found Rose in good spirits and a forgiving mood. Ashman said "Axl was a gentleman and had the good sense not to retaliate as he would have done some serious damage to Hilfiger."

Rose, who was at the club to play a surprise acoustic set with his band Guns N' Roses for actress Rosario Dawson's birthday party, filled out a police report and later dedicated the song "You're Crazy" to "My good friend Tommy Hilfiger" during the band's scorching performance, which left the way beyond capacity crowd screaming for more and gasping for air well into the wee hours of the morning. Said birthday girl Dawson of Rose: "They've never played all acoustic, this is history in the making, how much does this fucking man rock?!"


A few days later, The New York Post would speculate that the reason Hilfiger had attacked Axl was that Axl was dating Hilfiger's brother's (Michael Hilfiger) ex-wife Diane O'Connor, at the time [The New York Post, May 23, 2006]. Michael Hilfiger would lately deny this rumour and suggest neither Axl or Tommy knew who they were fighting at the time [Vogue, May 26, 2006].

In August, Axl would be asked if he had been able to "put the East Coast-West Coast feud behind you and Tommy Hilfiger":

Yeah, that’s just still an odd thing.


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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:42 am

MAY 19, 2006
THE PLUMM, PLAYING AT ROSARIO DAWSON'S BIRTHDAY PARTY


On May 19, Guns N' Roses would play an acoustic surprise show at the Plumm to celebrate Rosaria Dawson's birthday. Right before the concert, Axl would get in a fight with Tommy Hilfiger, and this is detailed in an earlier chapter.

[...] and then we just did an impromptu acoustic set birthday party for Rosario Dawson, and we decided to just go off, and we played for over an hour; and it was insane. [...] That totally rocked. This guy just goes, “Hey, do you have an interest in doing, like, four or five songs for Rosario Dawson’s, and I was like, “Yeah.”

It’s like, Tommy’s talking about bar mitzvahs now. I don’t know if Rosario’s having a bar mitzvah or not.

You know, you don’t really get offered that kind of thing, and it turned out to be – in my opinion, it was the smartest thing I’ve done in, like, at least ten years.

We also did a little private party, a birthday party for Rosario Dawson, and did a lot of the old kind of acoustic-electric thing, and that was new for all of us to do, so that was really fun. It was like, you know, standing-room only, and people were trying to shove onto the stage, so that was pretty fun.


A visitor to Blabbermouth would post a review of the show:

Like I said, the place was packed, but we managed to find another good friend who had a table up front near the stage. The joint was crawling with celebrities: Kid Rock, Mickey Rourke, Eric Balfour, and God knows who else. [...]

The band finally came a little after 1 a.m. I think. The stage was incredibly small and everyone surged forward to the point where tables were knocked over; my legs and feet are currently soaked in champagne and God knows what else. [...]

But Axl, Robin [Finck], Richard [Fortus], Tommy [Stinson], Bumblefoot, Dizzy and Chris [Pittman] all took the stage. Everyone played acoustically except Robin who played a semi-hollow Gibson, and Tommy, who played his usual bass; for 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door', Robin and Richard switched instruments. Chris and Dizzy played maracas, congos, tambourines, and occasionally the keyboard, which was crammed in the corner. Axl introduced the show as the 'karaoke version' of GN'R as a movie screen-sized monitor with all his lyrics was behind him.

Everyone seemed to be in a great mood; they played some old tunes from 'Lies' that they haven't done since Slash was in the band, and Axl said they had learned the songs just 20 minutes before arriving at the club.

Before 'I.R.S.', Axl asked the band if they felt like trying it even though they hadn't rehearsed it, and Tommy screamed out 'I'm fucking fearless, I'll try anything!' The three solos in 'November Rain' were handled as they have been (Richard Fortus does the first one, Robin Finck does the second one, and Bumblefoot does the big closing one) except that Richard and Bumblefoot played their solos acoustically, which sounded pretty awesome.

"Needless to say, the whole place went apeshit... it was a really intimate, really amazing show and a nice way to close out the week after the four Hammerstein gigs. [...]

At the end, Axl came back out and said, 'I forgot to do something because I'm a fucking idiot,' before bringing Rosario Dawson out on stage and leading the audience in a rendition of 'Happy Birthday.' Then Rosario grabbed the mike and went nuts — 'THEY'VE NEVER PLAYED ALL ACOUSTIC, THIS IS HISTORY IN THE MAKING, HOW MUCH DOES THIS MAN FUCKING ROCK,' etc."


Explaining that they partly did this show to give back to certain people in New York:

Yeah, actually, absolutely. I mean, we did this New York thing; we didn’t know how it was gonna go. We thought about shows at different places, we scheduled these four shows here, and it’s been so much fun. We’ve been so involved with the people - with the club scenes, and the radio scenes, and the fashion scene and stuff, and bringing all these different people to the shows. And they’ve been so supportive to make everything happen, because they want it to succeed. And that’s been really, really exciting. It’s been really, really fun. That’s also why we ended up doing this birthday party, because a lot of these same people were gonna be guests at this thing; it was like a payback to them. And then it was really fun for us. I mean, our new guitar player started playing Van Halen’s... I don’t know what the title of the song is, but I think [sings] “you are headed for a whole lot of trouble...” He started playing the song, so I sang the whole song. I mean, we never rehearsed that. We pulled the whole song off, and we’re singing James Brown and stuff live.


And how in some ways these shows in New York had been similar to shows GN'R did in New York in the late 80s:

So it’s kind of like – I had this weird thing, like new Guns becomes old Guns. It’s like, it was very similar to experiences when we played, like, CBGB’s and, like, certain television shows years ago with old Guns. Then this kind of new thing happened with us last night that we haven’t experienced yet.
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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:43 am

LOOKING BACK AT THE WARM-UP SHOWS


After the four shows at Hammerstein Ballroom, Guns N' Roses place a full-page add in the Village Voice to thank the fans for attending the New York shows:



The Village Voice
May 31, 2006



They would also release a statement:

Guns N' Roses - whose shows at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom sold out in less than 3 minutes - have reclaimed the throne that was always theirs. From stellar reviews to audience adulation, Guns N' Roses' New York shows proved that they are back in a big way.

Concert goers weren't let down as Axl Rose and band mates Tommy Stinson (bass), Richard Fortus (guitar), Robin Finck (guitar), Chris Pitman (keyboard), Dizzy Reed (keyboard), Brain (drums) and new guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (who has only been in the band for two weeks!) burned through Guns N' Roses classics such as "Welcome to the Jungle," "Paradise City," "My Michelle," "Mr. Brownstone," "November Rain" and "Sweet Child O' Mine." The final show at Hammerstein found the band joined by one time Guns' guitarist Izzy Stradlin on "Think About You," "Patience" and "Night Train," which also included an enthusiastic Kid Rock coming onstage to join the band.

Over the four nights, audiences were also treated to nearly half of the band's upcoming new album, Chinese Democracy, with live performances of "Chinese Democracy," "Better," "There was a Time," "Madagascar," "IRS" and "The Blues."

The four shows, which took place on May 12, 14, 15 & 17th, were the talk of New York City, with fans and famous faces such as Matthew Perry, Mickey Rourke, Drea De Matteo, Lenny Kravitz, Jamie Lynn Sigler, Fred Durst, Sebastian Bach, Ethan Hawke, Jay Z, Jimmy Fallon, Maxwell and Sean Penn to name a few, paying homage to one of the greatest bands in Rock n' Roll. Each night was a celebration on stage, which would then continue off stage with parties at Sixes and Eights, Bungalow 8, Butter, G Spa, The Marquee Lounge and The SoHo House.

The band ended their New York jaunt with a surprise acoustic performance at The Plumm for actress Rosario Dawson's birthday party. The band's scorching performance, which left the way beyond capacity crowd screaming for more and gasping for air well into the wee hours of the morning, had birthday girl Dawson commenting of Rose: "They've never played all acoustic, this is history in the making, how much does this fucking man rock?!"

The N.Y concerts were warm up shows for the European leg of the band's forthcoming tour, which starts May 25th in Madrid at Juan Carlos Arena.

For the upcoming tour, Guns N' Roses are playing a mixture of headline Festival appearances including Rock In Rio in Portugal, Download at the UK's famed Castle Donington, Rock Am Ring in Germany, Gods Of Metal in Italy, Novarock in Austria, Graspop in Belgium, Roskilde in Denmark, A Heavy Day In The Park in Holland as well as their own headlining indoor shows in Madrid, Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Paris, Zurich, Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki, most of which have been instant sellouts.

But nothing beats the home turf of the US or New York City. W. Axl Rose commented, "We've just finished our 4 shows in New York and had an amazing time. New York has always been special and it feels great to be doing this again particularly in front of so many friends. I am very excited about Europe and getting back over here in September."


In addition to the quote from the press release above, Axl would also talk to radio station KROW about having enjoyed his time and the shows in New York:

Yeah, actually, absolutely. I mean, we did this New York thing; we didn’t know how it was gonna go. We thought about shows at different places, we scheduled these four shows here, and it’s been so much fun. We’ve been so involved with the people - with the club scenes, and the radio scenes, and the fashion scene and stuff, and bringing all these different people to the shows. And they’ve been so supportive to make everything happen, because they want it to succeed.


Sebastian Bach would talk about the parties Axl did in New York:

I mean Axl throws these parties that would make Sodom and Gommorrah blush. He's like Caligula! He throws these incredible parties. In New York he did four shows at Hammerstein ballroom and threw these giant parties every night and everybody from Sean Penn to Lenny Kravitz to... I mean, you name it, they were there, just everybody famous just comes to see him play. It's just a lot of fun, you know. Axl definitely knows how to throw a fuckin' party, that's for sure.
The Metal Forge, September 15, 2006


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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:44 am

THE FANS' LOYALTY


In connection with the successful shows at the Hammerstein Ballroom in May 2006, Axl would be asked why Guns N' Roses fans are so loyal:

I think it’s a strange thing to explain, that I don’t really understand. Except that, like, if you have different people that you thought that there was a potential for them, and then they came up short more than a few times, whatever the excitement was for them wears off; and whatever it is about me, I haven’t really, you know, taken my shot yet, so people still think that there’s a potential for something that they would like to experience for themselves. I think it’s kind of got something to do with, like, hope and a fascination of hoping that there’s something there that they can latch on to – maybe something, you know, through me or whatever helps give them that to have a good time with.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:45 am

GUNS N' ROSES AND ITS FAN FORUMS


With the Internet came discussion boards and chat room where the most passionate fans could congregate to discuss Guns N' Roses. Guns N' Roses and its band members have had a conflicted relationship with the various fan forums and the opinions of hardcore fans on social media.

In May 2006, Axl would be asked if he keeps himself updated on rumours floating on the Internet, and say he did so he could shoot down anything too damaging to the band:

I have to keep up on it, because, there's a lot of the stuff sometimes you need to shut down, you know...so you like, have to be on top of what the people have...the people are doing the nonsense of what they're doing, so you can kinda stop some of it. Otherwise it would be a lot worse.


And when asked if he cared about speculation in the media, Axl would answer sarcastically:

No, Oh no, not at all never, Um mmm.... never, I'm unfazed. [...] When have you ever known me to be reactionary?


Del James would specifically comment on online discussions:

I've noticed that during our first week on tour, there's a lot of pissing and moaning on the Internet by people who aren't even at the shows. This vocal minority are not what I consider real GN'R fans. They are obsessive pests (go ahead and flame) in need of a real outlet other than GN'R chat rooms and posting on fan sites because the real fans are at the shows having fun. When someone overanalyzes something as petty as Robin's beard, what Axl says to the audience, the set list from one show to the next, or the tuning of Bumblefoot's fretless guitar, it's time to get a life. Disconnect from the Internet and reconnect with the real world.



GunsNRoses.com


In 2006, the band would set up its own site, GunsNRoses.com, which they would use to post comments and statements as well as glowing reviews of Guns N' Roses concerts. The admin at gunsnroses.com was Doug Miller.


GNROnline.it


In December 2006, it was reported that the Italian fan forum gnronline.it had "gone on strike" to "protest the lack of official information regarding the band and the "phantom" album "Chinese Democracy"" [Blabbermouth, December 11, 2006]. Admins at gnronline.it also claimed the band were playing favorites to the two large US forums [Blabbermouth, December 11, 2006]. The Italian forum would not be updated or moderated, and would be closed down at the beginning of 2007, according to Blabbermouth [Blabbermouth, December 11, 2006].

In response to this story, Bumblefoot would release the following comment:

Ron here — this is not a statement on behalf of GN'R, just speaking for myself, me to you.

For whatever it's worth, I love you guys and appreciate all the support you guys have given the band. I haven't been in the band very long, but long enough to experience how great it is to have fans that care as much as you. Maybe it's too-little-too-late to let you know that, but that's how I feel, and it hasn't changed.

From what I've seen, if ya give out info before it's 100% confirmed, and things don't happen as planned, it leads to people feeling betrayed, so info should only come at the final moment when all the piece are in place. That's not a GN'R thing, it's everything, every business or band or anything else.

If you're looking for daily or weekly updates on things that are in the works, it'll become a big mess for everyone. Meanwhile, we're touring. It's been fucking great.

Since my first show with GUNS in May, we've played nearly 70 shows, in 20 countries (if I counted right, at 3am after being up 30 hours... [***]) The way I see it, for two-and-a-half hours each of those nights, it's our time to connect with each other — we get to say *fuck it* to everything else in life and enjoy ourselves — that's what it's about. It's not about business or setlists or critics or anything else — it's about saying FUCK IT and gettin' high off it from beginning to end and a long time after.

Hope y'all have been enjoying it to the fullest. Life's too damn short to be upset about what you don't have — enjoy what you do have.

Not trying to change anything by writing ya, not answering the questions you want answered, just letting ya know that your support hasn't gone unnoticed, and I just wanna say *thank you* to the moderators and members of your forum. For the years you've devoted to the band, and hopefully years to come...



HERE TODAY... GONE TO HELL


One of the more popular fan forums became Here Today... Gone To Hell, run by the Finnish fan Jarmo. From Merck Mercuriadis post below, it is obvious that Guns N' Roses was not only monitoring the activity on the forum but also took steps to moderate the content posted at Jarmo's site:

I see a number of people flaming Jarmo and the moderators for removing posts at our request. I understand that you feel that we are using our influence to censor you. We are not. If someone wants to express their opinion or critique the band and its performances, recordings, actions etc that does not bother us but when you spread lies and disinformation about everything from ticket sales to release dates to how Pollstar calculate their chart we will use our relationship with Jarmo to shut you down because you cause chaos and confusion and you try to take something good and turn it into something ugly. When GN'R gets on stage every night for two and a half hours it is a positive force. The thousands of fans who are there every night lose themselves and have a great time. That is what rock n' roll is all about but unfortunately the 300 of you that aren't even at the gigs spread a negativity that does not reflect the reality at all as evidenced by the original thread on the Meadowlands show. We were there. We saw 11,000 fans having a great time. We had a great time. For the people in the room it was a great night but it wasn't to be for those of you at home sitting around your computers.

Jarmo is your greatest ally and he has a proximity to us that is to your benefit. No one else in the online community has it. He has credible information for you directly from the source. We are not looking for any negative favours. It is not how the band has ever operated. It is not how Axl operates and it is not how I operate.


At the touring in 2007, Jarmo would be travelling with the band.
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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:45 am

MAY 25-JUNE 8, 2006
THE EUROPEAN TOUR


Before the European tour started, Axl would talk about the difference between playing in Europe versus USA:

Yeah, actually, it's a lot less stress. [...] I think it's just, uh, a tougher road about old Guns N' Roses here than it is in Europe for us.


Izzy, who had played with the band in New York, commented on whether he expected to join the band for the coming European tour:

I dont have any concrete plans at this moment to join them in Europe but i will let you know if it changes. Please let people know nothing is confirmed at this point for Europe. NY was pretty cool........so.......talk later, izz"
izzyontour.com, May 26, 2006


After the successful warm-up shows in New York, the first show of the European tour kicked off at the Auditorio Parque Juan Carlos I in Madrid, Spain, on May 25, 2006. The band then travelled to Lisbon, Portugal for Rock In Rio V on May 27.

At Rock in Rio, Bumblefoot would play Don't Cry as his guitar solo, and he would continue doing this afterwards:

I pretty much make up some guitar version of whatever song off the top of my head, kinda like the Don't cry solo. Never planned out what I was gonna do, just busted that out at Rock in Rio without ever playing it, just made it up on the spot.


Shows then followed at the Budapest Sportaréna in Budapest, Hungary on May 31, Rock Am Ring, Nürburgring, Eifel, Germany on June 2, Gods Of Metal Festival, Idroscalo, Milan, Italy, on June 4, and to the Hammersmith Apollo, London, England, on June 7.

Brian May has initially been scheduled to feature at the Hammersmith Apollo show:

AXL IS MAGIC

Yes, it was on the cards for me to play with Axl and his boys last night - but I was unable to get to their sound-check, and, without that kind of preparation, I felt that going on 'blind' might have been a risk. Now I totally don't mind taking risks, but not if it's a risk of messing up someone else's show !! The up-side was that because I was not going on, I could sit out front, and totally relax and enjoy the show, without having to think about my own stuff. (Also it did occur to me later on that probably 3 guitarists is more than enough ! ha ha! Great band, though. ) I thought Axl was stunning .... riveting .... I have seldom seen Hammersmith Odeon in such a state of electric hyper- energy. Just before the band went on, I thought I could actually see sparks in the air !! There have been very few performers in the world, ever, who could elicit that kind of response. And just hearing that voice, drinking it in, letting it drench the soul, was pure therapy - enough to keep the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end the whole night. Axl, as ever, is magic. Cheers

bri
Brian May website, June 8, 2006


Sebastian Bach, on the other hand, did join the band onstage, sharing vocal duties with Axl on My Michelle [Rock Radio, June 8, 2006].

Excerpts from Rock Radio's review of the Hammersmith Apollo show:

But when Guns N' Roses eventually showed up at 10:41pm local time, they were phenomenally good for three reasons. Firstly, because Axl's voice was as good - if not better - as it used to be 20 years ago. Secondly, they played a killer setlist that included most of the hits - exactly what fans wanted to listen to. And, thirdly, the musical interaction between the GNR members was very good. Shame about the uninspired guitar solos that served no purpose other than force fans to rush for more beer.

All in all the gig was very enjoyable. But make no mistake. GNR without Slash is like a World Cup football tournament without Brazil.


The band continued to RDS Arena, Dublin, Ireland, on June 9. Ten years later, in 2016, the Irish Mirror would recall this show:

Ah, the corn-row era… Unfortunate hairdo aside, Axl firing on all cylinders at the RDS. It was a rare daylight show – and the notoriously tardy band even made it onstage by 8pm!

This was only the second time G’n’R had played on our wee island and we were over a decade into new album rumours. Chinese Democracy was finally released two years later, but fans at this Dublin show were treated to two tracks (Street of Dreams and Madagascar) from the long-awaited release.

Those who’d been at the Slane Castle gig 14 years earlier might have been disappointed by the lack of Slash, but with a line-up including three solid guitarists (Bumblefoot, Robin Finck and Richard Fortus, who’s still with them) there was nothing to complain about in terms of performance.


Sebastian Bach would again join Axl on My Michelle.
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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:46 am

MANAGING THE VOICE


Dizzy talking about how Axl's voice has changed:

I don't think he has personally. I think he still sounds like Axl still. I think that its better... stronger... he's not having to compete with amps that are thousand [?..] so... that makes it easier, heh.


Axl, being asked how his singing is holding up:

[In a deep voice] I have to wear tighter underwear. I mean, in my everyday thing it's a little uncomfortable, you know, it kind of rides up your crack and, you know, but for those high notes.


Later in 2006, Sebastian Bach would compliment Axl's voice:

He likes to laugh. He likes to joke around, like, a lot. And he's got the most unique voice I've ever heard. His speaking voice is this low baritone, Clint Eastwood kind of a voice. And then when he laughs, it's like a boy soprano's highest note that comes out. You know, he's singing better than ever now, and that's a fact. That's one thing about Axl people forget. He is one of the best rock 'n' roll singers that ever lived.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:47 am

JUNE 11, 2006
A DIFFICULT RETURN TO DONINGTON


The next show took place on June 11 at the Download Festival, Donington Park, Donington, England. For this show Izzy would again join the band playing on Think About You, Patience, Nightrain, Used to Love Her, and Paradise City. This was Izzy's second show with the band since he stepped in for Gilby in 1993.

At the show Bumblefoot would have a solo spot were he played an instrumental version of Don't Cry to a fairly hostile crowd. Being asked about this a few years later, Bumblefoot replied:

Was it tough? Fuck no, I was even laughing at one point during it. Don't remember if it was my idea, I think I went backstage and got the 'Foot' guitar said 'I'll go out there and keep it goin'. Either that or they said 'Bumble, take a solo' and I said 'No prob' and got the guitar. Whatever it was... I'm a 'shit or get off the pot' kinda person, either do it or don't. And if you do, you better swing with everything you got or don't bother.


Excerpts from review at the BBC:

After being over an hour late on stage at Hammersmith earlier in the week, Gn'R are on-time and on-form, opening with flashbombs and the one-two-three suckerpunch of Welcome To The Jungle, It's So Easy and Mr Brownstone.

Live And Let Die and Knockin' On Heaven's Door follow, before guitarist Robin Finck picks out the signature riff to Sweet Child O'Mine.

But you can tell from the giant screens flanking the stage that all is not well on the braided, goateed visage of Axl Rose. He's been carping about the stage being too slippy and, during a front-of-crowd walkabout, appears to aim the 'c' word at an over-zealous steward. As the band's most famous song dies, he abruptly announces: "We're having some technical problems, so we're gonna take a break."

I was on this Leicestershire soil in 1988 when the over-exuberant response to Guns' debute Donington appearance led to the fatal crushing of two fans. With tonight's restless crowd, semi-delirious on three days of booze, guitars and 30-degree heat, this could all turn nasty. Just as it seems as though Axl's well-documented appetite for self-destruction is about to consume another comeback appearance, guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal saves the day, appearing alone, stage front, to crank out a guitar-only version of Don't Cry which quells the bottle-fight in the crowd enough for normal service to (almost) be resumed.

You Could Be Mine claws back more ground but then Axl's gone again, leaving Finck and Richard Fortus to widdle their way through a (frankly excruciating) guitar instrumental version of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful". That's followed by the night's first new song (The Blues?) in which the level of chatter in the crowd, followed by booing and chants of "sort your f****** head out" , have seasoned Axl-watchers on alert yet again. When bassist Tommy Stinson grabs the vocal mic and threatens to go home if he's hit by one more flying bottle, the rainclouds gathering above Download for the first time all weekend seem an apt, if ominous, portent of a coming storm.

Maybe Axl needs this danger, this threat of impending violence, to really get the adrenaline racing. And as the band rips defiantly in to Out Ta Get Me, the whole dynamic shifts. Dizzy Reed's solo piano version of Ziggy Stardust is  warmly received, another new song (Better?) sounds loads, erm, better.

The tide has turned, and it's time for Axl's coup de theatre: "I'd like to welcome a very good friend of mine…Mr Izzy Stradlin…" and out trots his former sidekick to roars of approval. There are now as many members of prime-time Guns n' Roses in this band as there are in Velvet Revolver, and the performance of Think About You that follows throws down a gauntlet for all pretenders.


Sebastian would later recall touring with Guns N' Roses and in particular the show at Donington:

Thus [in 2006] began a rekindling of our friendship that proved to be extremely helpful to my solo career. Axl does not let many people into his world. But when he does, he treats you like family and is as generous and giving as can be. He began inviting me to cities around the globe, to jam with him onstage at the end of Guns N’ Roses shows. I would get a call and it would say: “Baz, get to JFK. You have a First Class ticket to Dortmund, Germany. You’re going to be on stage with Guns N’ Roses in 12 hours at Rock AM Ring in front of 70,000 people. Get your ass to the airport.” The expense and effort he would go to, just to have me sing one song with him in a foreign country, was astonishing to me.

One night, at Castle Donington in England, the insanity was palpable in the air. Axl had been late going to some of his shows and his then-manager, Merck Mercuriadis, pleaded with me in any attempt, however vain, to somehow get him to the stage on time. Axl’s vocal warm-up, even in 2006, was on a cassette. Even with the advent of recordable CDs, and by that time digital music players, the biggest rock star in the world was warming up his voice to a cassette. There was no cassette player in the hotel room that day. Merck and Fernando were frantically scouring the local area around the hotel for an analog cassette player, to no avail.

Somehow a tape player was located and the show went on. We all took a helicopter to the concert site. We were late for the show and the crowd was restless.

Axl’s friend, a girl named Diane from New York, was on the side of the stage. Her fun, happy demeanor changed when she, along with everyone else, felt the crowd turn a black mood. Axl came onstage, only to stop the show after a couple of songs due to the stage being slippery. He refused to go back on until it was made “safe,” and he would not slip, while performing. Diane burst into tears as the crowd started to boo. I told her this was all part of rock ’n’ roll. She did not understand how heavy this shit could get. Having been on the road with Axl Rose for decades now, I fully understood the volatility and intensity of how the situation could get. Diane didn’t understand that Guns N’ Roses fans expected danger.

The band went back onstage and finished the show. Near the end of the set, bass player Tommy Stinson took his instrument off and proceeded to smash a cameraman over the head who got too close to him near the front of the stage. The cameraman was part of the GNR crew and did not understand why he was being attacked for simply doing his job. Tommy was so drunk, I bet he didn’t even know he was attacking his own employee.

The show finished. Axl was in a rotten mood. “Come on. With me. Right now.” He demanded that I get on the helicopter with him and Diane. He was so mad at Merck, that he refused to let him on the helicopter ride back home. Merck was completely incensed that Axl would take me on the helicopter, instead of him. He was left to drive hours back in a car, along with the 70,000 or so concertgoers, the considerable distance back to London from the Donington festival site.

We took off in the helicopter back to London. Axl was in foul spirits and refused to put his seat belt on. I had been drinking and I had a pretty good buzz on by now. Axl was despondent about the show, and kept talking about how bummed out he was and what a shit mood he was in. His hand fidgeted nervously on the door handle of the helicopter. I looked at him, thinking to myself, Oh my God. He is going to open up the door and jump right the fuck out of here. To his death. It’s up to me to save him. I spent the rest of the flight with my eyes affixed to his every movement. Like a laser beam. I was not going to let my friend die. Axl was just crazy enough to make me think this was a possibility.
Sebastian Bach, 18 and Life on Skid Row; Harper Collins, 2016
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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:47 am

JUNE 13-20, 2006
THE EUROPEAN TOUR CONTINUES


After Donington the band travelled to Sazka Arena, Prague, Czech Republic, for a show on June 13 and to Legia Stadium, Warsaw, Poland, on June 15. At both these shows Izzy joined the band onstage for Think About You, Patience, Nightrain and Paradise City, while Sebastian joined in on My Michelle.

Things that stand out… First thing that popped into my head when you asked me that was when we were playing in Poland. It was a little Mexican restaurant across the street from the hotel, and me and Frank and a bunch of us went. We sat down at the table and they brought Frank a nice bowl of black beans, and usually black beans are just the beans in a little bit of sauce. But this time they pureed the beans, and it was the most delicious black beans I’ve ever eaten! And he was saying that’s how his mom used to make them. That’s the first thing that popped into my head – the pureed black beans at a Mexican restaurant in Poland.


Next up was Novarock, Pannonia Fields II, Burgenland, Austria, on June 17. This time Izzy joined for Think About You, Used to Love Her and Patience, while Sebastian came on stage for My Michelle again.

The band then continued to Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, Paris, France, on June 20, for what was - unknown to the audience -  Brain's last show with the band. Again, Izzy joined in on Used to Love Her, Patience, Nightrain, and Paradise City.

Review in Le Parisien, June 21, 2006:

When Axl Rose, the singer of Guns N 'Roses, took the stage for the first time in France since 1993, he had a lot to make up for. Expected around 9 p.m., he finally showed up at 10:40 p.m. - a record of its kind.

While waiting for him to turn up, all kinds of rumors were flying around, between beers, in the aisles of a packed Bercy. "He's going to sing just for half an hour, like a few weeks ago in London,” some said. "He fired his guitarists and his drummer yesterday. Eventually only the drummer came back and they’ve been rehearsing, if not learning, the songs all afternoon. That’s why the opening bands couldn’t rehearse and why they’ve been so late,” affirmed others... This version, in line with rock 'n' roll romanticism and the man’s notorious instability, was the most popular among the soothsayers.

And then, at 10:40 p.m., as the boos and the gestures of discontent were multiplying, Axl Rose, the only original member of the hard rock band known in the early 1990s as Guns N’ Roses, took the stage. "I've been preparing three years for this tour”, he stated after “Welcome to the Jungle,” an appropriate show opener for the occasion, followed later by: "I feel better. Five songs ago, I still felt bad.” Miraculously, his old hits, sung in a beautiful high-pitched voice, still worked: "Live and Let Die," a Paul McCartney's Wings cover, as well as the iconic “Sweet Child O 'Mine" (despite the awful guitar solo intro).

"Tell the truth, you didn't think we were coming, did you?” he said at one point, without even getting an angry reaction from the – dulled by the wait and the heat - audience. After an extended version of Bob Dylan’s "Knocking on Heaven's Door," the pianist went to cover Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust". Would Axl Rose come back to sing? Fortunately, he did. At 12.50 a.m., he was still on stage.


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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:47 am

JUNE 21, 2006
BRAIN LEAVES THE BAND


On June 21, 2006, the band would release a statement saying that Brain had needed to return to the USA earlier than expected to be with his pregnant wife:

Guns N' Babies!

Guns N' Roses have been forced to postpone their show in Zurich at the Hallenstadion this evening the 21st of June, 2006. Their drummer Brain aka Bryan Mantia has had to return to San Francisco earlier than scheduled to be with his pregnant wife. The band have been travelling with understudy drummer Frank Ferrer and he will be ready to step in when the tour continues as scheduled on Saturday with their next show at Belgium's Graspop Festival.

It is expected that Brain will return to the tour in approximately 2 weeks time. The band had a phenomenal show at Bercy in Paris last night which they consider to be the best of the tour to date. During the exuberant performance guitarist Robin Finck pulled his hamstring but will benefit from the extra day of rest and will be ready for Saturday. The Hallenstadion show in Zurich will now take place on the 1st of July and all tickets are valid.

Guns N' Roses apologise to their Swiss fans for any inconvenience and look forward to seeing them in a couple of weeks.


This caused the rescheduling of one show and Frank Ferrer taking over as a temporary replacement drummer [see later chapters].

In the end, Brain would not return to the band as a touring member and Frank became the band's permanent drummer.

That Brain was permanently out was not clear in June, though, and even after the five September warm-up shows for the 2006 North American tour, press releases and posts on gunsnroses.com, would indicate Brain was still the band's drummer [Press Release, September 28, 2006; GunsNRoses.com, September 30, 2006].

On October 31, Del James would make it known that Frank would be touring with the band for the North American tour while Brain stayed home with his newborn daughter, indicating that Brain would replace Frank again for later touring and that the band still expected Brain to be the band's drummer in the future:

First things first, the drummer for the 2006 US tour is Frank Ferrer. Frank filled in for Bryan "Brain" Mantia for a good portion of the European summer tour when Brain went home to be present for the birth of his daughter, Kei. Prior to the U.S. run, Brain asked if he could sit this one out so he could be with his newborn baby. Had it come down to not being able to do it without him, Brain would have done the tour but management and the band support his decision to be with his family.
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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:49 am

BRAIN AFTER GUNS N' ROSES


Placeholder.

Together with Buckethead, Brain would join Bootsy Collins' band, Science Faction:

Bassist Bootsy Collins has always been out there, but he's pushing his next project, Science Faction, even farther than usual.

"We're looking at it like, 'What would happen if we wound up a situation down the line as we evolve, that our technology takes over and we are the ones that they're looking at as 'the scum of the earth'," Collins tells Billboard.com. "It's kind of like 'Planet of the Apes.' What would they be like? What would that feel like? We're just trying to warn the world that that's comin', and we're having fun with that."

Joining Bootsy in the band are guitarist Buckethead and current Guns N' Roses drummer Brain (both of whom have previously played with Bootsy in Praxis), as well as DJ Botieus and producer/guitarist Greg Hampton, who will also be handling lead vocals. "We had a different vision that has morphed into a monstrous vision," explains Hampton. "Originally, we were going to do an old school sort of thing, referencing the elements that were part of Bootsy's career in the funk genre. One thing led to another, and it has turned into what it is today -- it definitely grooves, but it's definitely very rocking and very modern."

Science Faction's yet-to-be-titled debut (which is being co-produced by Collins and Hampton) is set for worldwide release early next year, with a tour to follow. Song titles include "L.O.A.F. (Living on Another Frequency)," "Fatally Flawed Flesh," "Neuro World," and a track with a working title of "Living in Eden."
Billboard, June 11, 2007


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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:50 am

JUNE 21, 2006
FRANK FERRER JOINS THE BAND


With Brain having to return home earlier than expected [see previous chapter], his "understudy", Frank Ferrer had to step in:

Guns N' Babies!

Guns N' Roses have been forced to postpone their show in Zurich at the Hallenstadion this evening the 21st of June, 2006. Their drummer Brain aka Bryan Mantia has had to return to San Francisco earlier than scheduled to be with his pregnant wife. The band have been travelling with understudy drummer Frank Ferrer and he will be ready to step in when the tour continues as scheduled on Saturday with their next show at Belgium's Graspop Festival.


As explained in the press release, Brain's absence was anticipated and Frank was ready to step in. The replacement was originally intended to only last for two weeks until Brain returned, then for the North American tour while Brain stayed home with his daughter, but became permanent [also see previous chapter].

With Brain not taking part of the North American tour, Del James made it clear that Frank was part of the "Guns N' Roses family":

Frank Ferrer is not a replacement drummer or some backup playing because of an injury. Like Brain, Frank is part of the Guns N' Roses family. He came into the fold through guitarist Richard Fortus. Frank and Richard were in Honky Toast together, which for those of you not living in New York was the best band to come out of that city since D-Generation. When GN'R were making arrangements for someone to fill in for Brain, both Richard and bassist Tommy Stinson knew what the perfect fit would be when they recommended Frank. After one rehearsal, everyone else in the band knew they were 100 percent in the right. Frank's resume includes Honky Toast, The Psychedelic Furs, Perry Farrell, The Beautiful, Wyclef, and many others. Along with the ability to bend cowbells, Frank brings a positive vibe that always lights up the room.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:50 am

FRANK BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES
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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:50 am

JUNE 24-26, 2006
THE EUROPEAN TOUR CONTINUES


After a brief stop to replace Brain with Frank, the tour continued with a show at Graspop Metal Meeting, Dessel, Belgium, on June 24. This show was the first with Frank in the band, initially planned as just a temporary replacement for Brain. After this show the band travelled to Sweden for a show at Globen, Stockholm, on June 26.



Graspop
June 23-25, 2006, 2006
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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:54 am

JUNE 27, 2006
AXL BRAWLS AT BERNS HOTEL IN STOCKHOLM


After returning to his hotel in the early morning of June 27, some hours after having finished the set at Globen in Stockholm, Sweden, Axl got in a fight with a hotel guard at Berns hotel where he was staying [Associated Press, June 27, 2006; Blabbermouth, June 27, 2006]. Axl had been partying at the nightclub Café Opera from 2:20am [Blabbermouth, June 27, 2006]. The party had allegedly continued at Berns hotel [Blabbermouth, June 27, 2006].



Berns Hotel, Stockholm, Sweden



The fight, which included Axl biting the leg of the guard, led to Axl being arrested [Associated Press, June 27, 2006] at 7:52am [Blabbermouth, June 27, 2006].

According to a witness:

[Axl] broke a mirror in the hotel reception and was very upset. It is somewhat unclear as to why. He was also about to get into a scuffle with another hotel guest.


According to police officer Tove Hägg:

[Axl] bit him on the leg and then the hotel staff called the police and we came and apprehended him.

[...]

He was drunk, and in the police station they took him to a cell to sleep for a few hours.


Early reports suggested the fight had broken out when the guard had tried to calm an argument between Axl and a woman [Associated Press, June 27, 2006; Blabbermouth, June 27, 2006]. According to a source, Axl, who was accompanied by his bodyguard in the hotel lobby sometime before 8am, "was not pleased with the rooms at the hotel" and "he had seen several and was pissed off" [Blabbermouth, June 28, 2006]. Allegedly, he has been screaming, "Where is everyone? Where's the party? I was promised a big party!" [Blabbermouth, June 28, 2006]. To calm Axl down, his tour manager and assistant were woken up and a hotel security guard was called for [Blabbermouth, June 28, 2006]. The hotel guard asked Axl to quiet his voice but he allegedly "continued screaming and suddenly attacked the security guard" [Blabbermouth, June 28, 2006]. According to the anonymous source, "[Axl] pushed [the guard] in the chest hard enough to cause him to almost lose his balance" and "in response, the security guard grabbed Axl's braids and pulled them to the floor" where Axl bit him in the leg [Blabbermouth, June 28, 2006]. After this, Axl allegedly threw a vase into an 18th century mirror worth approximately $2,000 [Blabbermouth, June 28, 2006]. The hotel staff called the police while the guard tried to get control over Axl, even - according to the source - asking Axl's bodyguard to help out which prompted Axl to threaten to fire the bodyguard if he intervened [Blabbermouth, June 28, 2006].

Some days later, the security guard, aged 25 and a previous bouncer only on his fourth day as a guard at Berns hotel, would tell his side of the story, again stating that Axl had been accompanied by Beta when the brawl started:

Axl came alone to the hotel and went up to his room. He came back again in the company of some sort of coordinator — an older woman, who was his 'mom.' Axl was pissed off because people had left him alone at some party. He was loaded, in a bad mood and started cursing at the woman. When he started banging on the walls, I approached him and asked him to lower his voice. [...] Then Axl turned around and pushed me in my chest and neck. [...] I totally lost balance. I wasn't prepared and I had to kneel for a moment in order to be able to remain standing. Then he jumped me and started fighting. I had to fend off a few punches, on my arms, for instance. Then I got hold of his neck and got him down on the ground. We wrestled for about a minute; he was strong.


Being asked if that's when he was bitten:

Yeah, but it wasn't until afterwards that I felt it. When you get such a rush of adrenaline, you don't feel anything. He could have had Hepatitis B or something. It was very uncomfortable. In general, it's disgusting to bite people.


And why he couldn't control him:

No, it wasn't possible. He was wild. He was totally wild. He was gonna kill me. 'I'm gonna fuck your life up,' he screamed.


According to the guard, it was at this time Axl's bodyguard arrived:

Axl was stark-raving mad. The bodyguard tried to calm him down, but Axl threatened to fire him if he intervened. That's when he threw a vase into an antique mirror.


The guard was sent to a hospital to check for tetanus [The Local, June 27, 2006] but the bite hadn't penetrated the skin [Aftonbladet, June 30, 2006].



Aftonbladet
June 30, 2006



Axl was arrested for "damaging property, assaulting a security guard, and threatening police in the squad car on the way to the station" [Blabbermouth, June 27, 2006]. According to the police, Axl had been deemed too intoxicated to be questioned the same day [Associated Press, June 27, 2006], and had been "aggressive and acting out" and was still drunk in jail at 11am [Blabbermouth, June 27, 2006]. According to the anonymous source, Axl had been screaming at his bodyguard as he was taken away by the police [Blabbermouth, June 28, 2006].

Axl was released from jail later that day after admitting to the charges and agreeing to pay a fine of $5,000 to Berns hotel which had suffered damages and $1,360 to the hotel guard [Associated Press, June 27, 2006].

The same day, Axl released the following statement:

We had a great gig in Stockholm and I am not going to let this incident spoil that. My assistant Beta and I were talking in the lobby of the hotel when security started to give us a hard time. My only concern was to make sure she was OK.


Later, Merck Mercuriadis would claim that Axl had been pressured to admit to the charges:

We are very unhappy about Tuesday's events in Stockholm. To put this in context, we are in the middle of a tour - with sold out shows last night in Oslo, tomorrow in Copenhagen, and Saturday in Zurich rounding out this week alone - and continuing until the beginning of August.

The Swedish authorities were very aware of this, yet continually threatened us over a 12 hour period with between 5 days and 3 weeks incarceration without bail if Axl did not "cooperate." They were fully aware that there were millions of dollars at stake, not to mention the hopes of tens of thousands of fans who had paid for tickets to see Guns N' Roses.

The point is, the police report should not be taken at face value, and if one were to be explicit, this experience is tantamount to being held for ransom. If the context were any different, Axl would probably have preferred to spend the time in jail in order to ensure that all the facts were a matter of public record.


Mercuriadis would also claim Axl had been mistreated by the police:

In addition to this, we are also not happy at the treatment he received. He was arrested after being accosted by a security guard in his hotel, following which he was physically mistreated by the arresting officer in the process of which a valuable bracelet went missing not to be returned. While in custody, he was held down by 5 police officers while a doctor tried to take blood to administer a drug test 3 different times. This illustrates not only the level of incompetence, but malice involved. The results of the test were negative, but the exercise was a clear example of an authoritarian approach trying to flex its muscles. This is the same draconian approach that assumes the security guard in question is telling the truth just because he has a badge.

Here you have a situation where authorities are skewing information their way, with the media all too ready to run with the biased reports. I did not receive a single phone call Tuesday to verify or comment on any of the reported events. There is a long history of claims by law enforcement, media and others against Axl that have not held up against scrutiny, legal or otherwise. He has had countless baseless lawsuits brought by numerous attorneys and nothing of any merit has ever held up.

This is not a criticism of the people of Stockholm. The 15,000 people at the show Monday night were amazing, and everyone we met before and after were terrific, until the encounter with the over exuberant security guard. That is where encounters with real people stop and the authorities attempt to take over. There were a number of people involved who treated Axl well, while the conduct of some was questionable and others still deplorable. Regardless, Guns N' Roses will return to Sweden where they will play once again for the people, not the authorities.

Love him or hate him don't get it twisted.


Axl would make many references to the incident in Sweden at the following shows:

It’s good to see you tonight. I think some of your European neighbors like me so much, they love me so much that they wanted me to stay there. But I said I’ve got some other friends and have to go, because I’ve got to see my friends. [...] Law enforcement everywhere. Especially in Sweden. [...] Straight out of Sweden (laughs). I’m an A.W.A.: an asshole with attitude. [...]  This next song [Patience] is one of the ingredients you may find yourself in need of when rent-a-cops go bad.

Make sure you say that [=the "Guns N' Roses" chant] loud enough, so Sweden can hear you (laughs). [...] All I can say is, when I got arrested, it’s a good thing I hadn’t been hanging out with Lars or I probably still wouldn’t have made it here tonight (laughs).

Calm down... I’ll tell you what the Swedish police told me. They said, “Calm down.” Then they said: “You are going to be arrested.” And I said, “You’re a fucking asshole” - or something like that.


Duff would comment on the event:

Yes, I heard about that. I'll definitely bite someone during my stay in Sweden, too haha.
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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:56 am

JUNE 28-JULY 30, 2006
THE FINAL PART OF THE EUROPEAN TOUR


Axl left the jail at 7pm in Stockholm and was drove directly to the airport to fly to Oslo, Norway, for the next show of the tour on June 28. According to Blabbermouth, Axl did not leave the plane immediately after landing in Oslo, but continued partying in the plane for four hours - even having ice cubes delivered to the plane by car - before leaving at 1am [Blabbermouth, June 28, 2006].

Next thing that pops into my head would be backstage when we were playing in Oslo, Norway. They had this salad that had cashews and hot red peppers in it. It was a spicy, Thai-style cashew salad. It was very good. That’s the second thing that popped into my head. In case you’re wondering, yeah – I am a little bit hungry!


After this the band travelled to Denmark for a show at Roskilde Festival on June 29.During this show Axl commented on the charitable aspect of the gig:

They tell me that the proceeds of this shows go to the abused children all over the world. That means this, and this performance, is dedicated to all of those who have the potential to become as fucked up as I am.


The band then travelled to Hallenstadion, Zurich, Switzerland, July 1 before Goffert Park, Nijmegen, Netherlands, on July 2. From Goffert Park and all the remaining show son this tour (with a possible exception of the surprise show at the Cuckoo Club on July 30) Izzy joined the band onstage for a few songs, usually Think About You, Patience, Nightrain and Paradise City.

At Goffert Park Axl introduced Better with these words:

This is a song that is put together by Mr. Robin Finck. I'm sure a lot of you, motherfuckers, have already downloaded that shit.


The next shows were at Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland, July 5 and 6, they then returned to Spektrum, Oslo, Norway, July 8, before playing at Rockwave Festival, Greece, on July 10.



Rockwave Festival, Greece
July 10, 2006



After Greece the band travelled to Istanbul, Turkey, July 12 and then to Bilbao Live Festival, Spain, July 14. In Bilboa Izzy sang lead vocals on You Gotta Move with Axl and Del James singing background vocals.

The band then continued to Natural Music Festival, El Ejido, Spain, July 15; Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield, England, July 18; and to the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, England, July 19.

In Newcastle Izzy again joined the band for the songs You Gotta Move, Think About You, Patience, and Nightrain; and Sebastian Bach joined on My Michelle. The show ended early after Axl was hit by things thrown by members of the audience:

Newcastle was one of the best gigs of the entire tour. I had puddles of sweat underneath my keyboards and loved every second of it except when some idiots decided to throw things at the stage. When Axl got hit the first time, the audience pointed out who threw the object and security tossed him out so we came back. Then Axl got hit in the mouth with another object, so thanks to the behavior of two morons who obviously don't know how to behave at a rock concert, the show ended with no encores. I've been in this band for sixteen years and stupid shit like throwing stuff at the stage is something we won't tolerate. We're not targets, we're musicians.

We had a great time Wednesday night and Axl sang his ass off but you do not wait around to get hit in the mouth for a third time.

Getting hit wasn't a big deal. We stopped the song and gave a warning. We came back and started the song over and completed it. We then said goodnight. The house lights went down and I got hit a second time, in the mouth, by a solid object thrown by someone in the audience. After having warned the crowd that we would leave, and having played more than two hours, we left the stage and called it a night with the full support of everyone in the band, our guests and Management. Izzy was the first to immediately support the decision verbally to me personally before I had physically left the stage area. Tommy and Frank came to my dressing room to say how much they appreciated the decision to not continue under those conditions, and express their support for not tolerating anyone throwing items at the stage with a negative intent. This has been GNR's policy since playing Donnington in 1988. We thank everyone for coming, we hope everyone got home safely and we hope to play Newcastle again - hopefully without those looking for enjoyment at others expense. Cheers!


A few days later Richard would also release a statement in response to various media reports:

To my knowledge, there was never a bottle thrown at the stage while we were on it. Newcastle (in my opinion), was one of (if not the), best shows of the tour. It was also the hottest! It was a steam bath! The fans were amazing, and seemed 100% with us the entire show. It was a really magical show for me, until the very end.

During 'Night Train', someone threw a coin and it hit Axl and he stopped us and we walked off. We made an announcement that we weren't going to keep playing if anything else was thrown. Unfortunately, we came back, started the song again and the same thing happened. So we left. That's what this band has always done when people keep throwing shit. Maybe people were booing in the back. If they were, I sure as hell didn't hear it nor did I see it. Except for some asshole that ruined it for everyone, it was one of the greatest shows of my life. The Newcastle audience was amazing.

The press reports that I've read made it sound as though we were bottled and booed off the stage, but as usual they are full of shit. That includes the story about Axl refusing to go on until he got a roast duck dinner. Complete bullshit. I know, I was with him. Blatant lies. Don't believe what you read kiddies!


The band continued to the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, July 21. Izzy joined again.

In 2012, Dizzy would reminisce about the show in Glasgow:

Last time we did Glasgow, it was like a heatwave and it was crazy hot. It was the hottest show I can ever remember. Everyone was packed in, and I'm surprised there weren't people fainting. After the first number I remember looking down and going, 'Who spilt stuff all over the stage?' And my tech was like, 'Nobody, that's just sweat'. So I drank a lot of water, I was back in my hotel, with a fan on, and the windows open. I was eating some room service, and this big giant seagull lands on my windowsill and just looked at my sandwich. It was like a seahawk, and I was worried about my food. But I love Scotland, my great-grandmother's from there and I feel at home there.
The Herald Scotland, May 2012


The tour continued with shows at the MENA, Manchester, England, July 23; NEC Arena, Birmingham, England, July 25; Nottingham Arena, Nottingham, England, July 27; Wembley Arena, London, England, July 29; and then a surprise acoustic show at the Cuckoo Club, London, England, July 30. It is unclear if Izzy joined at the Cuckoo Club.

The audience at the Cuckoo Club had partially been chosen from audience members at the preceding Wembley show, with Axl reading out their names at the show [Blabbermouth, July 30, 2006].

The next day the band returned to Wembley Arena, London, England, July 30 for the last show of the tour. On this final show, Axl left stage during Nightrain, leaving Sebastian Bach to finish the song and to sing Paradise City as the set's closer. The band would explain what happened and why in a press release the next day:

Rose became ill a couple of hours after the 75 minute performance ended, with a doctor being called to his hotel room. The Physician advised that Rose should be hospitalised and not perform Sunday evening. Rose's response - "fuck that, I have a show to do and I am not missing it." He made it through the two hour performance to the final song of the evening - Nighttrain - before collapsing. The mic was handed to his friend, Sebastian Bach, who completed the performance with an encore of Paradise City.

Axl Rose commented, "We have had an amazing tour and it has been fantastic for the band and I to experience this. I approached this last show with equal parts determination, obligation, responsibility and insanity. It was an amazing night."


Axl would later talk about being ill at the last show:

[...] it was just a little bit of exhaustion near the end [...] just overdoing it.


And Sebastian Bach would talk about having to fill in:

There's only been two singers that've ever been the singer in Guns N' Roses, and I'm one of 'em. That's crazy, dude! I was sweating so much, just thinking, 'I can't mess this up!' that I was soaked when I came off. All I can say is, thank God for the TelePrompter.

Yes I did [fill in for Axl] and that was the most surreal experience of my life. 'Cause, Axl just had like a low blood-sugar thing happening and it happens to everybody. So they just ran up to me - the management and the road crew guys - and they go 'Baz! Finish the set!'. I go 'Finish the set?! What the fuck, finish the set?'. So I run out there, I do Night Train with Izzy Stradlin and the rest of the guys. And it was insane, I thought I was done: I walk off the stage; I thought I was finished and then they go 'Paradise City, dude'. I go 'Jesus Christ!' And there's so many words in that, it's like, 'Rags to riches or so they say, you gotta..."

And there's so many words in that; and I know the melody just like everybody but to nail those fuckin' words, it's like...thank God for tele-prompters. 'Cause I just sang it and I read it at the same time and I think I did pretty good but it was like being thrust right into the fire, you know. And then I turn around and there's like midgets dancing all around me waving British flags. And then at the end I jump up in the air and when I hit the fuckin' stage all these bombs go off like boooom! And I'm like, 'Goddamn!' So that was really cool. Yeah, it was heavy, dude. It was the best tour I've been on since the Use Your Illusion tour. I've played a lot of gigs with Axl, I'm very fortunate.
The Metal Forge, September 15, 2006


Bumblefoot would later mention the little people when recalling a great "Spinal Tap moment ":

A great Spinal Tap moment was when we were playing in England two years ago. We’re doing “Rocket Queen” and as we are doing the intro we see a bunch of guys bringing out these little, foot-high platforms behind us. As they are bringing them out, we are looking at each other like, “What the hell is going on?” and we go into the song and they quickly take them away. We had no idea what that was about. We found out later that we were going to have a bunch of “little people” dancing on these platforms for an extended intro to “Rocket Queen,” but we were never told, so we had no clue. So we are arguing about the communication breakdown after the show, so I of course in the middle of it have one question to ask in a British accent, “Will we be doing ‘Rocket Queen’ tomorrow night? [instead of “Stonehenge”] And one of the guys says back [in an English voice], “No, we won’t be doing fucking ‘Rocket Queen’!” So that was a Spinal Tap moment. Little things like that can happen and when they do you just have to laugh. We try and make a rule of not mentioning anything from Spinal Tap before a show because it will jinx the show. It’s all in good fun.


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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:57 am

LOOKING BACK AT THE 2006 EUROPEAN TOUR


During the European tour, Richard would release the following statement praising the European fans:

The fans have been amazing here in Europe. It's pretty overwhelming.

I'd like to personally thank all the fans that have come to the shows. Especially the ones that didn't come as fans, but left as fans. Your emails and all the posts on the websites have really meant a lot.

[...]

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone that has helped make this tour so much fun.


Richard would also mention playing with Izzy:

Oh yeah, one more thing. Izzy Stradlin is one of the coolest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. It's a pleasure to play with him and to hang out with him.

I really love Izzy. He's a real talent and it's easy to see where a good 90% of the song riffs on Appetite came from after having played with him. I had the oppourtunity of getting to know him while we were in Europe, and he's probably become one of my favorite people. He's very genuine. We have a lot in common and he is someone that i can really relate to. It's an honor to call him a friend.


After the tour, the band would release the following statement:

Guns N' Roses Win Big In Europe

Guns N' Roses completed their European Tour last night with their second consecutive sold out show at London's Wembley Arena. The tour, which started May 25th in Madrid, Spain, played to 700,000 plus people over 32 shows in 18 countries, making it one of the biggest tours of the year on the continent and in the UK.

The final show at Wembley almost didn't come to fruition as vocalist Axl Rose was diagnosed with low blood pressure and low blood sugar Sunday morning. He became ill after performing two concerts on Saturday night - the first was the band's scheduled sold out show at Wembley Arena which lasted two and a half hours - and the second an unannounced surprise semi acoustic set which thrilled as many fans as could be jammed into London's Cuckoo Club at 4 am on Sunday morning with hundreds left standing outside. Rose became ill a couple of hours after the 75 minute performance ended, with a doctor being called to his hotel room. The Physician advised that Rose should be hospitalised and not perform Sunday evening. Rose's response - "fuck that, I have a show to do and I am not missing it." He made it through the two hour performance to the final song of the evening - Nighttrain - before collapsing. The mic was handed to his friend, Sebastian Bach, who completed the performance with an encore of Paradise City.

Axl Rose commented, "We have had an amazing tour and it has been fantastic for the band and I to experience this. I approached this last show with equal parts determination, obligation, responsibility and insanity. It was an amazing night. I want to thank everyone in Europe and the UK for inspiring us and for giving us the opportunity to play for them. We are now looking forward to the US in September."


And Axl would praise the tour:

It went great. We played for over 700,000 people, 32 shows, and really it was a lot of fun. [...]  I mean, it’s been very fun, very exciting, and the people have been so great everywhere at the shows. The shows have gone over really, really well, and we had a lot of fun working the shows - I mean, everybody going and putting everything they got into it. So yeah, it’s kind of like erased the time, in a way, and feels new.


Axl would also mention he got injured early on in the tour:

That happened pretty quickly, getting in shape to be able to do the shows. But I did most of the European tour injured. When I came here, the very first show, I somehow had muscle spasm in my hip that took almost the whole tour to get rid of. And when I finally got rid of it, and I was on stage going, “Yeah, it’s gone!” - basically, to do all these stretches and make it look like you don’t have a problem, which I think I did for the most part.


Izzy would also shares his thoughts about touring with the band:

I spent my summer vacation touring with Axl`s new gnr and had some fun playin live again. Amazing fans out there.... It's hard to believe at times. Fantastic! GnR tour: Axl and I connected via cell phone [digital] this year, I stopped bye to see if he looked as old as he might be............same age as myself, you know and he looked great!, and it was nice to reconnect with an old friend/war buddy/fellow musician. I told him later I`d like to join the fun in some way and he said I was welcome to come and play something, so I did! Took me about 3 weeks to recover from the 6 weeks of touring!


And Bumblefoot would point out that it had been good for making the band cohesive:

Everyone is doing great, the European tour was a great way for the band to come together. I had only been playing with the band a week before the tour started. The fans were very welcoming and we got a lot of love. ... We got a chance to feel out a lot of songs. ...


Sebastian Bach would rave about Brain:

To me, Brain is one of the best drummers I've ever seen in my life. I love drummers that kinda play behind beat, with that cool, sleazy groove like John Bonham, Joey Kramer, or Steven Adler on 'Appetite', and to me, Brain plays with that swagger and cool factor. And I watched this guy with GUNS, and I couldn't believe how incredible he was. Then I bought the new Tom Waits record, and I look at the credits... Drums: Brain. I go... this guy! Tom Waits, Primus, GN'R — he's amazing.


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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:57 am

SETLIST DISCUSSIONS


Being asked how many new songs they are playing:

It varies. Sometimes [we do] four to six new songs, maybe seven right now, and that’ll grow as we begin touring, more songs or new songs. That varies every night. It kind of depends on just the vibe of the crowd and other circumstances, how we feel, what’s going on with... We don’t change it too much, but we vary what we throw in and what we don’t. We try to just change it up a bit for ourselves, so that it keeps us excited. I mean, my favorite thing that we do is, we move the piano in and out for a couple of songs, and when we’re doing that and goes into, like, an impromptu jam that we just make up on the spot.


When asked if he occasionally goes, "I don’t wanna do this" and changes the setlists on the spot:

Absolutely. I’ve always done that and I do it now. And the band is good with it. They don’t have a problem with that. They like that, as well. We usually are all kind of in joint unison about what song we’re gonna go into next. Sometimes we get confused...


And on whether he is getting bored playing the old hits:

You know, we don’t... we’re not bored with it. I’m not bored with it, because at least these shows, as soon as we walk out on stage, the crowd erupts. [...] And we bash out three or four songs, or maybe five, in a row with really no pauses and, like, go at it a hundred percent. It just feels great when we do it and the crowd is into it, so I don’t have any problem with doing the songs. I did for a few years, as I was trying to find where I wanted to go with the record. And, you know, I’m not exactly “on the nightrain.” [...] But doing that song, to do it well and to do a lot of these songs well live, it is a real big physical thing. So I like that sense of pulling it off and I think the crowd responds to that really well.


Before the North American tour, the band rehearsed some old songs:

A few songs that fans haven't heard in a while have been worked up and when the time is right, may be added to the set. Telling you now what the songs are would be rude.


As the North American tour began the band would occasionally be criticized for the setlists and on October 29, on stage in Puerto Rico, Axl would shoot back:

I haven’t done what they call a “rant” in a long time, but, as they say, all good things must come to an end. I mean, I wanna say that I’m thankful to be here and I’m thankful that you are here tonight. We do our best to come out here, and put everything we got into it, and give you the best show we can. [...] You know, I don’t have anything necessarily against some of the bootlegs, and photos, and tapes, and all this kind of deal. But the people that are bitching about, “The setlist, is that the same setlist?” and you have some fuckhead from Iowa that doesn’t even go to a show, I don’t care about them. I don’t do one song for them, not one note, not one goddamn thing. They can bitch forever, and you can have every little newspaper pissed off writer and magazine writer talking out of his ass, as he doesn’t get what he wants to get, but we’re just gonna try to have ourselves a good time tonight, right? Thank you. And now, back to your regularly scheduled program.  
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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:58 am

MAY-NOVEMBER 2006
CHINESE DEMOCRACY TO BE RELEASED IN 2006?
"13 TUESDAYS LEFT"


In May, Axl was a guest on Eddie Trunk's Friday Night Rocks radio show, and would again repeat that the record was close to being released:

Some time this fall or late fall. [...] It will be out this year.


And when asked if he was happy with the record:



A few days later, he would compliment fans for waiting:

It's obvious that many of you can hold your breath a lot longer than David Blaine. I thank you for that.


And a few days after that he would again be asked if the record was coming out this year:

Yes. Absolutely.


After the successful tour in Europe in the summer, Axl would be asked about Chinese Democracy:

It is this year.


And when asked if he would specify the month:

Of course not. Of course not (laughs).


Explaining why it has taken so long:

It’s not about being a control freak. It’s about being maybe smart enough to go, ‘No, that’s a bad idea.’ That’s all it’s about—keeping the ability to at least have a shot as opposed to something that’s just an obvious disaster. I want to make a good record. I don’t want to throw a brick. This cannot be Shaq at the free-throw line.


On September 23, 2006, after the band's gig in San Bernardino, Axl threw a party at his mansion where he played the entire Chinese Democracy [Rolling Stone, October 18, 2006]. Sebastian Bach was present at the party:

It was mind-blowing. It’s a very cool album — it’s badass with killer screams, killer guitar riffs, but it’s got a totally modern sound. The word for it is ‘grand.’ It’s fucking epic. He’s reinvented himself yet again.

I've heard some incredible music. He's got like 30-some songs.


But Bach had also heard part of the record previously:

[Axl]'s getting the album out. [People] don't know the work it takes. And Axl, when he disappears, all he's trying to do is make something incredible. There's no big mystery to it. He's trying to make an album that can bear the name Guns N' Roses. I've heard a lot of the music, and it's incredible. And you know, I'm telling the world, the man has never had plastic surgery or Botox. When I read that, it's aggravating, 'cause I'm his friend. That's the way he looks. He looks young, dude! It's so crazy all the [stuff] that's said about him.
TV Guide (via Blabbermouth), June 30, 2006


Bach would specifically describe the song Sorry:

There’s this one song called ‘Sorry’ that’s almost like doom metal with Axl singing really clean over this grinding, slow beat that is fucking mean. I cannot get it out of my head.


A few weeks later Bach would be asked if Chinese Democracy was really coming out this year:

What I've heard is awesome. And Axl's always been a man of his word with me. So if he says it's coming out, I believe it's coming out.


In 2008, Marc Canter would mention he heard the record in August 2006, and that Axl intended to release it in November:

Two things happened in 2006. Axl played me Chinese Democracy in August and he told me it should be out by November [...]. I’ve heard Chinese Democracy and it’s great.


Bach would muse on why it takes so long:

[Axl] doesn't explain that to me because he doesn't need to. It's his album and his art. Rock 'n' roll is filled with stories of musicians that have gone crazy trying to live up to expectations, like Syd Barrett. At the end of the day, Axl has managed to stay pretty damn level-headed. But he is trying to create a record that lives up to 'Appetite for Destruction,' one of the best albums of all time, and that's taken a long time.



"13 TUESDAYS LEFT"


In a press release regarding the forthcoming North American tour, the release of Chinese Democracy would be hinted at:

As for Guns N' Roses forthcoming "Chinese Democracy" album the only comment at this time is that there are 13 Tuesdays left between now and the end of the year.


Tuesdays are industry standard [MTV News, November 29, 2006]. In October, Rolling Stone magazine would cite an anonymous retail source stating that the album would be released on November 21 (a Tuesday) [Rolling Stone, October 5, 2006].

Then Merck Mercuriadis would restate the Tuesday release plan:

The album will come out this year. There are ten Tuesdays left before January — it will come out on one of them.


But when pressed for a release date, he responded:

I don’t know that we will announce a release date. You just might walk into your record shop one Tuesday and find it there.


In October, Del James would imply that both Bumblefoot and Frank had recorded parts for Chinese Democracy:

Recently, Bumblefoot and Frank played on a few tracks that will appear on Chinese Democracy.


This must indeed have been recently given that both Frank and Bumblefoot had just become members of the band. It also begs the question whether Frank and Bumblefoot were adding additional tracks or replacing other band members' contributions.

When asked about the release, Bumblefoot vaguely implied they had prepared to tour the record:

(Laughs) I was politely asked that I decline answering any questions regarding the album ... but there are about nine songs that we have worked up to play live, but we usually do four.


In late November with only four more Tuesdays left, MTV News doubted a release before the end of the year [MTV News, November 29, 2006]:

Unless an ultra-top-secret marketing plan is in the works, the album would have to be released without the major promotional push such a hot-ticket item would normally have — an approach that failed dismally with Limp Bizkit's stealthy 2005 release of The Unquestionable Truth, Pt. 1, which debuted with a thud at #24 on Billboard's album chart with just 37,000 copies sold.

None of the national retailers contacted by MTV News said they were aware of an official release date, and several major-label personnel declined even to speculate on the possibility of such a release happening before the end of this year.



ENOUGH MATERIAL READY FOR 2,5-3 ALBUMS


In May 2006, Axl would discuss if the tracklist was entirely decided:

Except, it's still debatable like...there's songs we're still shuffling around, I mean we recorded about 2 and a half/ 3 albums worth of material. So, there's still stuff that's gonna bounce between one and two.


In the same interview he would specify that they didn't have two records ready with both music and vocals:

I mean, there is, there's 2 records that the majority of the music's done, and the majority of the vocals are done. And there's another half of a record that's being worked on. We were actually working on a song a little bit tonight that's not, even on the first two records.


Axl would also say that Chinese Democracy would be a regular CD [Eddie Trunk's Friday Night Rocks, May 5, 2006].


PRO TOOLS AND OVERPRODUCTION


Axl would also discuss the use of Pro Tools when asked by Sebastian Bach what he thought of such software for manipulating vocals:

I think that there all types of different ways to do it, I mean you can definitely overproduce it and make it too perfect that it's a nightmare and it makes it sterile. Or you can use a little bit of everything. You can push it every way possible using the technology and doing it, everything you can do. We.... the only thing you have heard has been the leaks but there's different things where its just like.... I don't like to stretch things with Pro Tools or anything like that. I don't like that kind of cheating...It's a lot faster. [...] It depends on the quality of the sound. [...] But like, the whole auto tuning kinda thing...


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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 6:58 am

OTHER ARTISTS TALKING ABOUT THE RECORD COMING OUT


M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold:

Everyone knows the name. It's already more famous as a record that hasn't been released yet: Everyone knows of Chinese Democracy, but no one has heard it. That's kind of crazy. [...] When you've got as much money as Axl, and with as many records as he's sold, he's probably just sitting there going, 'I don't need to release this record.' It does seem closer, though. A couple years ago, when people were saying it was coming out, I knew it wasn't. But now that the demos have been leaked, and I heard [go-to mixer] Andy Wallace is mixing it — you know when you've got Andy Wallace mixing stuff, it means it's getting closer, at least.

I think after you take a certain amount of time, you might start feeling a little insecure about it. You feel like it's never quite done. To me, it doesn't really matter at this point how good it is. A lot of people are going to say it wasn't worth the wait. I think it will be a great record, and I think for people to embrace it, they're just going to have to take it for what it is. It's just a rock record, and they need to listen to it like that. You can totally overthink sh--.


Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine:

Will it come out? Hard to say. Axl is clearly talented ... and troubled: a combination often found among the best lead singers. If he can overcome his fears about the album's relevance or commercial prospects or whatever the underlying problem is, and just release it, then we would all be glad to hear it and can get on with our lives.


Shawn "Clown" Crahan from Slipknot:

Do we really care at this point? No disrespect, but I stopped looking at my calendar when the real [original] band was done. That was the real excitement. That was the real magic. That was the real truth. I'm kind of bored with it.


Michael Monroe from Hanoi Rocks:

Perhaps by the time there’s democracy in China. Axl Rose has always been nice to me and I wish him good luck, but I wish he had the old band today. Those guys had a great chemistry. It’s what happens when big money gets in the way. It’s what destroys bands. People start talking to each other through lawyers. I don’t envy Axl’s situation. Doing the same record for ten years is not normal anymore”
FREE Magazine, June 2007


Lars Ulrich from Metallica:

I wait with baited breath just like everybody else does. And, listen, I can relate to - I mean, the record is gonna come out when Axl wants it to come out.


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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 7:01 am

SEPTEMBER 9-23, 2006
WARM-UP SHOWS BEFORE THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR


Before the band was to embark on their North American tour on Cotober 24, the band did four warm-up shows in Las Vegas and San Francisco before headlining at KROQ's Inland Invasion festival.

The first two shows tour took place at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, USA, on September 16 and 17.

From stage Axl would indicate that they had asked Izzy to be part of these shows, too:

We asked Izzy to come here. But I think he's somewhere in the desert, driving around in a truck. But it's all good. He sends his mojo.


Excerpt from review in Las Vegas Review-Journal, September 19, 2006:

"All we need is just a little patience," Axl Rose sang, and the Guns N' Roses frontman wasn't lyin': His band's padded set at The Joint on Sunday came coated in so much lard that you could feel your arteries clog as the group played. In addition to a pair of piano jams, there was not one, not two, but three extended guitar solo interludes by the band's trio of guitarists — the worst of which was by Richard Fortus, who actually turned in an instrumental rendition of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" for some reason. All these detours took a wrecking ball to the considerable amount of momentum that Rose and company had worked hard to establish.


But Axl's performance was applauded:

Rose was a commanding presence from the start, spinning himself in circles with arms outstretched as he sang, holding the mic stand above his head triumphantly, like a prizefighter who had just KO'd some stubborn foe. [...] Through it all, Rose proved to still be strong of voice, shrieking through "Sweet Child O' Mine" like nails were being pounded into his wrists. He would occasionally get winded though, and his voice was frequently lost in the mix on songs like "Live and Let Die" and "You Could Be Mine." Still, Rose seemed to be in good spirits, smiling broadly and bounding about the stage like an aerobics instructor.


At these shows Steven reconnected with Axl:

I saw Axl, talked with him from, shit, what was it? 10 or 12 at night to 8 in the morning, we talked. We resolved a lot of fucking shit! It was wonderful! Just wonderful. I was the same happy-go-lucky person that I've always been to him, and he enjoyed it. Dude, we talked 'till 8 in the morning! [...] It was at The Hard Rock when he played there. [...] Yeah…three people in his band all look like Izzy! I told him it sucked. I was kidding. I said, "You know the five of us have to get back together! That's when it will really fucking take off again! Nothing will be bigger. It would be the biggest reunion ever in history." [...] You know how [Axl] is. He just grinned and giggled a little bit. Everybody in his band came up to me, "You're the greatest fucking drummer! We tell Axl, 'You gotta get the band back together!'" That's what they said to HIM! It was wonderful!


After Las Vegas the band travelled to the Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, USA, for two shows on September 20 and 21.

Contra Costa Times provided a mixed review (September 21, 2006):

If you don't want to hear comparisons to the old GNR, stop reading now. That's what's going to happen when a one guy hijacks the name of a legendary band, doesn't tour or make records for a decade, then comes back resting squarely on the deeds of years past. [...] While Rose is still a dynamic frontman with a unique voice, so much of GNR used to depend on the laid-back coolness-that-could-explode-at-anytime vibe of the former members. It's hard to even call the new GNR anything but an Axl Rose solo band, featuring some nice backing players. [...] That's the thing guitarists Robin Finck, Ron Thai and Richard Fortis are all very good players (though we could've done without three guitar soloists taking up so much of a 21/2-hour set). All three try damn hard, running about, striking the right rock poses, sneering ... all the standard stuff from Rockstar 101. But that in itself was strange, as GNR never had to try so hard. The new guys are doing their best, but when it comes down to it, they painfully lack by comparison. It takes three guys bashing about to equal the absolute coolness of Slash and Izzy, who never had to resort to punching strings and doing windmills to make a point. [...] Maybe old fans need to get over the fact that it's a new century for GNR. But until Rose and his new crew can forge an identity with a new record one of these years, Guns N' Roses won't be able to escape the shadow of its former greatness.


The band then continued to KROQ's Inland Invasion, Devore, CA, USA on September 23, 2006.

During the show Axl would joke about Internet leaks:

You downloading ... -- you're responsible for putting us on this gig!


Again, the reviews were mixed and more focused on the band's history and the absence of new material and old members, than reviews in Europe.

Excerpt from review on MTV News:

Guns N' Roses treated the sold-out Hyundai Pavilion audience to a 19-song, hit-filled set featuring all but three tracks from Appetite for Destruction and only four new songs. There were a few surprises — guitarists Robin Finck and Richard Fortus played an instrumental version of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful," and Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach joined in on "My Michelle" — but it was mostly Rose doing what he does best: wailing, posing and snake-dancing to songs from "Sweet Child O' Mine" to "You Could Be Mine."


Mike Catherwood, DJ at KROQ, would later recall the show:

Very recently, Guns N’ Roses was slated to play, to headline a huge concert that this station, KROQ in Los Angeles, puts on every year. So, about 15 or 20 minutes after the last band plays, Guns N’ Roses, the band, shows up; Axl is nowhere to be found. KROQ management is furiously on the phone with Axl Rose’s management: “He's in the air right now. Is there any chance he can get a police escort?” And it wasn't even as if there was any question about it. There is superstars, then there is Axl Rose. 30 or 40 minutes later, after the crowd is sure that they're not gonna see Guns N’ Roses, Axl Rose burns into the backstage area. And he walks out, he lights up a cigarette, he smokes it, he starts talking to himself, he throws it down, and he goes out and commences to destroy the crowd. It was right on the verge. I mean, the stitches were about to break, but somehow, instead of it falling over into complete chaos, that night it leaned back over to utter perfection. And if it didn’t once in a while fall into that destructive area, where things go totally wrong, I don’t think we’d be sitting here talking about them today.


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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 7:01 am

OCTOBER 2006
GN'R LICENSES 'WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE' AND 'BETTER' FOR A HARLEY-DAVIDSON COMMERCIAL


Guns N' Roses has reportedly licensed music to Harley-Davidson for a TV spot entitled "Black Sheep". The standard version, which launched nationally on October 8, features the track "Paradise City", while the alternate version, launching late October, premieres the new, previously unreleased Guns N' Roses track "Better" from the band's new album, "Chinese Democracy", which will hit stores later this year. According to a press release, the "Black Sheep" spot is shot in black and white (similar to the overall "Live By It" campaign) and uses the well-known metaphor of black sheep to show the rebelliousness and individuality of Harley-Davidson riders. The spot closes on a motorcycle rally scene, the Harley-Davidson logo and the "Live By It" tagline. To give the spot another layer of attitude, Harley-Davidson approached Guns N' Roses and requested to use the song "Paradise City" as the background music track. GNR frontman Axl Rose viewed the spot himself and quickly agreed. This is the first time Guns N' Roses has agreed to license one of their songs for a commercial.


Something went wrong and a demo version of 'Better' ended up being leaked:

Here’s what I know. We were doing a commercial with Harley-Davidson. Harley was going to do a version using 'Paradise City' and another version using 'Better.' Their Web site even had a version up for like one day with 'Better,' but the version of 'Better' that they had was an unfinished, unapproved demo. That’s why it was removed. The version that’s getting airplay is that same demo.

Our understanding of how that happened is that an experimental edit using 'Better' in place of 'Paradise City' was somehow accidentally mislabeled as the 'Paradise City' Harley-Davidson video/commercial and was inadvertently released on the internet. We believe the 'leak' came from this source tape and someone with access to it.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 7:05 am

OCTOBER 24-NOVEMBER 8, 2006
THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR STARTS


The band sent out a press release before the North American Tour started, informing that Sebastian Bach would open for the entire tour, a partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media, and the release of a new website, gunsroses.com:

GUNS N' ROSES ANNOUNCE "CHINESE DEMOCRACY" NORTH AMERICAN TOUR AND STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP WITH MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ADVANCED MEDIA

Hot on the heels of their sell out shows last week in Las Vegas, San Francisco and KROQ's Inland Invasion in Los Angeles Guns N' Roses announce the first leg of their "Chinese Democracy" North American Tour.

The tour which will kick off on the 20th of October in Jacksonville, Florida finds the band in top form having spent the summer in Europe playing to 700,000 plus people over 32 shows in 18 countries, making it one of the biggest tours of the year on the continent and in the UK. Concert goers were not let down as Axl Rose and his band mates Dizzy Reed, Robin Finck, Richard Fortus, Tommy Stinson, Chris Pitman, Brain and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal burned through classics such as "Welcome to the Jungle," "Paradise City," "Nightrain," "Mr. Brownstone," "November Rain" and "Sweet Child O' Mine" as well as highlighting soon to be favourites from the forthcoming "Chinese Democracy" album.

Just this week, the Hollywood Reporter's concert review of KROQ's Inland Invasion observed, "when headliner Guns N' Roses took the stage everything old became new again - and everything new on the bill, just couldn't hold a candle in comparison... the night belonged to Guns N' Roses!"

Axl Rose commented, "We had an amazing tour in Europe this summer and last week’s shows here in the US were great. It's been a long time getting here but we look forward to coming to your town and having a lot of fun."

Sebastian Bach who has been guesting with Guns N' Roses on "My Michelle" will open the entire tour with the Special Guest slot going to a number of great bands starting with Papa Roach for the dates through the 3rd of November. The shows have been planned to cater to a Guns N' Roses rock n' roll party atmosphere with Sebastian hitting the stage every night at 8 pm followed by the Special Guest at 9 pm and Guns N' Roses shortly after 10 pm and lots of great music in between.

Guns N' Roses are also delighted to announce that they have partnered with Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLB.COM) to provide their fans with premium ticketing opportunities and up to the minute information on the tour and the band's other activities via gunsnroses.com which will be launched as of tomorrow.


As can be seen in the press release, the intention was for Bach to go on at 8pm, the second opener to go on at 9pm, and then for Guns N' Roses to go on "shortly after 10 pm". This does not seem to have been the case for every show of the tour, because a frequent gripe from reviewers were the late starts.

The first show of the tour took place at BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, FL, USA, on October 24, 2006.

Del James would describe the band hanging out before the show:

Some time last week, GN'R flew into Florida for production rehearsals at Miami Arena. The place was sweltering hot and somehow we managed to temporarily lose one out of the two band buses en route.[...] After Monday night's rehearsal, Axl and Guns N' Roses manager Merck Mercuriadis went over to catch some of the Eric Clapton concert because as it turns out, Axl's friend, guitarist Derek Trucks, is playing in Clapton's band. From there, Axl met up with most of Guns N' Roses at a South Beach hotspot called Snatch. For the uninitiated, Snatch is a club that blends hard rock and funk with classics. Snatch also has a mechanical bull, performance artists, drag queens, and super fine go-go dancers all getting their freak on. Now some people might frown upon a rock band staying out all night, drinking up a storm and dancing before the very first show of a tour but this is Guns N' Roses. Conformity will never be a part of the equation. No one in this band got into the music business to punch a time clock or worry about hangovers. It's not rocket science, it's rock n' roll, and seeing Dizzy Reed, Robin Finck, Axl, Tommy, Frank, and Bumblefoot drinking, mingling, and dancing until the sun came up was a beautiful scene of a rock band bonding. And that's what Guns N' Roses 2006 are -- a band!


And the show itself:

Oh yeah, there was a show on Tuesday night, 10/24, at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla. and judging by the reaction of the 10,000-plus people in attendance, they had a kick-ass time.


Excerpt from review in Palm Beach Post, October 27, 2006:

The relaxed, friendly and cheerfully profane Rose admitted to being a little worse for wear following some debauched evenings in Miami ("I'd like to know where I was in the wee hours of this morning"), which may have explained his many departures from the stage to allow various band members solos that occasionally slowed the evening down.

But those solos, including a strong guitar jam by former Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck and an almost Jim Brickman-esque piano piece by longtime keyboardist Dizzy Reed, still couldn't zap the energy of Capt. Axl and his still-seductive stage snakiness.

The concert started strong and mostly stayed that way. After the hideous wait (and there's still no excuse for that), the lights went down on a stage flanked by the letters G N' R in Chinese-like characters. Ominous storm trooper-type music began to play as the restless fans began yelling things like "Come on!"

And BOOM!, just like that, the staccato strains of Welcome To The Jungle greeted geysers of pyrotechnic flare-ups and the appearance of the strutting Rose, his multicolored braids tied back behind his head.
"You know where you are?" Rose screamed along with the crowd. "You're in the junnn-gal, bay-BAYY!"
Why, yes we are. Grab that pith helmet and stun gun and elaborate, my friend.

Rose's voice has always been something of a contradiction - a pleasant raspiness that turns into a seductively dangerous shriek. It was in evidence during Jungle, as well as the intense You Could Be Mine, Mr. Brownstone and It's So Easy. By the end of the show, he sounded like he'd over-extended himself, but he never stopped throwing himself into it, even with the probable hangover pounding on his cornrows.

The band did pretty much everything you'd think they would - the strongest bits included the expert bombast of Wings' Live And Let Die (and did you remember how good that thing was?), the welcome whistle of Patience and a gleeful Sweet Child O' Mine.

Oddly, for a tour named "Chinese Democracy," there was very little evidence of the still-unreleased album that lends it its name. Toward the end, before the stomping encore of Paradise City, Axl and company did the title song, a loud and solid number that invokes the importance of thinking for yourself and not letting them fool ya and what-not.



Axl
October 24, 2006


Next up was St. Pete Times Forum, St. Petersburg, USA, on October 25.

This show got great reviews. Excerpt from review in St. Petersburg Times Blogs, October 26, 2006:

It's weird to accuse someone of being professional, but that's what Axl Rose has become: an efficient showman. After an explosive cover of Live and Let Die, he greeted us like a game-show host: "Hello, Tampa. It's very, very, very nice to be here." He gave faithful, loving renditions of all the hits: Sweet Child O' Mine, You Could Be Mine, Patience and an epic November Rain, the latter of which he played on a baby grand.

Throughout, he was efficient and sweet and normal. When bassist Tommy Stinson (of the Replacements) made a whispered request, Axl even obliged with "a love ballad": the murderously funny Used to Love Her. His new songs from the umpteen-years-in-the-making Chinese Democracy album (out any day now....really!) were even tame, save for Better, which has legit switchblade edge.


The band then travelled to Germain Arena, Estero, USA, October 27, before playing at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot, San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 29.

In Puerto Rico Axl would rant against people complaining about the setlists:

I haven’t done what they call a “rant” in a long time, but, as they say, all good things must come to an end. I mean, I wanna say that I’m thankful to be here and I’m thankful that you are here tonight. We do our best to come out here, and put everything we got into it, and give you the best show we can. [...] You know, I don’t have anything necessarily against some of the bootlegs, and photos, and tapes, and all this kind of deal. But the people that are bitching about, “The setlist, is that the same setlist?” and you have some fuckhead from Iowa that doesn’t even go to a show, I don’t care about them. I don’t do one song for them, not one note, not one goddamn thing. They can bitch forever, and you can have every little newspaper pissed off writer and magazine writer talking out of his ass, as he doesn’t get what he wants to get, but we’re just gonna try to have ourselves a good time tonight, right? Thank you. And now, back to your regularly scheduled program.  


The band continued to Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, USA, October 31. This show was originally scheduled for October 20. According to the local promoter, the reason that this show was postponed and another one scheduled for Nashville was canceled, was because Axl was putting the finishing touches on Chinese Democracy [The News-Press, October 24, 2006].

Excerpt from review in The Florida Times-Union, November 3, 2006:

At its best, the concert was very good. It was, after all, Axl Rose up there singing some of the better songs in rock. And in the full two-hour set, he did just about all that you could ask for. At its worst, there were too many long guitar solos by guitarists who are not as good as Slash and who threw in too many silly theatrics.


The next shows were at Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, USA, November 2 and Big Sandy Superstore Arena, Huntington, USA, November 3.

Before the show in Huntington, Sebastian Bach would comment on the opportunity to open for Guns N' Roses:

Dude, I've been waiting so long to do a big huge arena tour. So long. That, for me, is the most fun you can have.


And so would Jacoby Shaddix, singer of Papa Roach:

You've got some really, really young kids, like 15, all the way up to people in their fifties, so it's a very diverse audience. Really, it's just a rock n' roll crowd, and they want to rock. We're the underdogs on this show. We have to get up there and bring the raucous. We turn it out every night. [...] We've had [about] seven singles under our belt now, and we're bringing them out throughout the set. By the end of the set, we've got them in a hot frenzy.


Bumblefoot would also discuss how Axl was doing:

Axl is fine and he's better than ever and anyone who's been to the shows will agree.


The next show was at the Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, USA, November 5.
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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 7:05 am

THE LATE STARTS II


As the band started touring North America in the fall of 2006, journalists writing reviews of the shows would again complain about the late starts. Del James wouldn't have it:

I've read a few reviews where the reviewer says something along the lines of 'the band came on late but the show was great.' WHOA, WAIT A MINUTE -- who decides what late is? Every single press release for the tour specifies that Sebastian Bach will be going on sometime AFTER 8pm, Papa Roach will be going on AFTER 9pm, and Guns N' Roses will be onstage AFTER 10pm. This is supposed to be an all night party. When the f*ck did rock n' roll -- and the last time I checked rock music was supposed to be a non-conformist, rebellious, art form -- get a Flavor Flav-sized time clock wrapped around its neck like a hangman's noose? Rebellion and punctuality do not go hand in hand and for those of you too young to remember, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin rarely went on before midnight in their hey day.

Here's a little insight for you -- a rock band has to do certain things in order to be prepared to hit the stage. It's a lot like a sports team warming up before hitting the field. Axl has to do his vocal warm ups or else he will blow his voice out. Guitarist Robin Finck has to do yoga-type stretching or else he's going to pull or tear a muscle again. Some of the band members need chiropractic adjustments or massage therapy. Others need to warm up on their instruments. The list is endless and every night something unexpected always occurs. There's a lot more to it than showing up, grabbing an instrument, and walking onstage. No one is interested in wasting your time or keeping you waiting, but the band goes on when it is 100 percent ready to go on and give it all that they have for that evening and not one minute before. The show starts when the band hits the stage and ends when the final encore is over.

If, back in the day, Thin Lizzy or Humble Pie or Queen came on at whatever time and gave me two hours of blistering "rawk" like GN'R does every night that would have been a magical evening. A rock concert is supposed to be a celebration where for a few hours people can escape from the pressure of everyday life. Jobs and taxes and homework and traffic are all still going to be there when the show ends so what's the hurry? I mean, GN'R ain't some play by the rules, shake hands and kiss babies for public approval type band. It's Guns N' F*ckin' Roses so please feel free to raise your middle finger with GN'R because Axl, Dizzy, Robin, Richard, Tommy, Chris Pitman, Bumblefoot, Frank, and Brain will always stand defiant against conformity while doing their best to thoroughly kick every audience's ass. As Axl says onstage from time to time, "This isn't McDonald's or Burger King - it isn't 'Have it your way.'" Anyone who doesn't get that should really just stay the hell home.


The singer of Papa Roach, Jacoby Shaddix, one of the opening bands, mentioned how Axl was the reason the band started at different times:

Every day our set time changes, depending on when Axl [Rose] wants to show up to the gig. It's like, f*** it. It's an opportunity to play.


And answering the question what he had learnt from the experience:

What I've learned is to show up on time [laughs].


This is similar to the touring in the 90s [see previous chapter].
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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 7:05 am

NOVEMBER 6, 2006
THE PORTLAND SHOW IS CANCELLED


On November 6, the band's show in Portland was cancelled just 2.5 hours before it was supposed to start, with many angry fans left outside the venue [The Portland Press, November 7, 2006].

Axl and the band are very unhappy about not being able to play for the fans in Portland but have been advised after several meetings with local fire marshals Nelson Collins and Bob Cadigan that they have made it impossible for the band to perform their show to the usual high standards that their fans deserve.

More importantly, we have been informed that officials intend to enforce rules and regulations that should not and do not apply in this venue. Our production manager and crew have been in this building with Clay Aiken and Green Day and none of the restrictions imposed on Guns N' Roses were experienced by those artists. It is our opinion that they are going out of their way to target and single out Guns N' Roses and the band's loyal fans. Following consultation with the band's manager, agent and promoter, it was felt that it was best to cancel the show. It is a regrettable decision, particularly at this late notice, but it is of paramount importance that our fans have the best experience possible without being harassed and threatened.

We look forward to continuing the tour in Worcester on Wednesday.


The media would speculate that poor sales, with only 3,000 out of a capacity of 6,000 tickets sold, was part of the explanation for the cancellation [Blabbermouth, November 7, 2006].

Axl would release the following statement:

I would like to apologize to all of the fans in Maine for the show not happening last night. It was important for us to play there and it is a shame that what should have been a great night for all of us was not possible due to the actions of two people.

I agree with, and ultimately take responsibility for, the end decision not to jeopardize the safety of the fans, the crews, the bands and myself as a result of the methods of these particularly draconian authorities. We are not trying to get away or get out of anything or pull a fast one by combining ticket sales as has been speculated.

There are reasons that I have not spoken more about Montreal and Philadelphia that have been extremely complicated and are not legally resolved behind the scenes to this day and could have possibly jeopardized the future of Guns N' Roses.

We have chosen to take the public heat for these events in order to have another shot at the future today with a new album.

The professionals around me felt that Portland was a potentially explosive situation that could have had a somewhat similar result based on the behavior of the two aforementioned fire marshals (it's not my first barbeque!) had the fans been given entry to the building and the show started. In respect of these opinions, our fans, the people of Portland, and the bands scheduled to play with us that night, unfortunately the only sensible decision was not to take that chance.

We hope to find another way to play for you in the future. Thanks for even trying to see us. It sincerely is much more than appreciated.


And Merck Mercuridis would post on the fan forum Here Today... Gone To Hell:

I normally do not respond on HTGTH but a number of your posts have been brought to my attention today and I feel it is right to take the time to dispel the negative speculation through a statement of facts:

1. The show in Portland was cancelled last night because the fire marshall made it impossible for us to believe we could do our show without putting at risk the safety of the fans and the band. They made it clear that they intended to harrass our fans, crew and the band through enforcing rules and regulations that are 200 years old to an extent that has not been applied to other artists and that we believed would make the gig a potential time bomb that would explode. Our Production Manager Chris Gratton is a seasoned pro who has worked with everyone from Korn to R Kelley and has terrific relationships with Fire Marshalls and authorities all over the world. This is the first time he has ever come to us and said this is a dangerous situation and these people intend to use their authority in a negative way against our fans, our band and our crew and I need you to do something about it.

The cancellation had nothing to do with pyro or ticket sales. Putting our fans, band and crew first cost $200,000 last night so we did not make the decision without great thought and care and it was made in consultation with our agents and our promoter both of whom lost money as a result and both of whom supported our decision 100% as they too could see that the authorities were more than overzealous in their approach. For all of you to be speculating without any knowledge or credible information that the responsibility for this is Axl's or the band's is nonsense. This band has performed more than 50 shows this year without incident and had every intention of performing last night. They did not perform because we - the professionals around the band - stopped them as we did not feel it was safe for them or for the fans. We take our responsibility to the band seriously and we take our responsibility to the fans seriously. Now if you want to vent your spleens about this do it to the people responsible ie the fire marshalls. We named them for a reason. They are the reason why the Cumberland County Civic Center did not rock last night.

[...]

3. Ticket sales.

Guns N' Roses have sold almost 200,000 tickets already for this run and we still have 7 weeks to go. We have sold almost 50,000 tickets in the New York area alone this year between Hammerstein Ballroom, the Meadowlands and Madison Square Garden on the back of one interview with Ed Trunk and before the album has come out. Most bands do not go to Portland, Maine because it is what the music business calls a "soft market" but we had a lot of letters from fans in the area and we were determined to play there regardless of whether it was "only" 3500 people. We are doing something positive in a negative world. If you are with us fantastic. If you want to live your live in an adverse way stay at home.


Nelson Collins, supervisor of licensing and inspections at the State Fire Marshal's Office, would claim the main reason the band had cancelled the show was the state's restrictions on alcohol consumption on stage [The Portland Press Herald, November 8, 2006]. This explanation would then be picked up by other news media [Associated Press, November 10, 2006; Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 11, 2006].
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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 7:07 am

NOVEMBER 8-10, 2006
THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR CONTINUES


After the cancelled gig in Portland, the tour continued with a show at the DCU Center, Worcester, USA, November 8.

Excerpt of review of the DCU Center show in The Boston Herald:

Rarely is a show so good and so disappointing. In the first moments, as the spotlights swarmed the crowd and the opening chords of "Welcome to the Jungle" echoed around the arena, a fighting-weight Rose screamed, "Do you know where you are?" and it looked like he was going to pull it off. The years and hours of waiting (G N'R didn't go on until 11:45) suddenly seemed worth it. But the moment faded fast.

As the band wailed through favorites from "Appetite for Destruction" - "Jungle" was quickly followed by "It's So Easy" and "Mr. Brownstone" - cracks started to show. Rose was unhappy with the sound and complained he couldn't hear his vocals. At this point in G N'R's career, sound problems are inexcusable, but perhaps not surprising.

Rose's thin yet still unique voice barely made the list of problems. When you've got a band with no charisma and no personality, mediocre vocals aren't what hold you back. With only Rose left from the original G N'R lineup, the band is a bloated octet of soulless virtuosos.


The tour continued to its second show in New York, this one at Madison Square Garden on November 10. Bumblefoot would comment on playing this legendary venue:

It's a dream come true. When I was 5 years old I got the Kiss 'Alive' record and that's what made me want to be musician. That's what made me want to do this. Then, the first concert I saw when I was 9 was Kiss at Madison Square Garden. And my goal was to some day play Madison Square Garden that same way - with all the bombs and the pyro. And now we're playing Continental and MSG. So, after 30 years of busting me ass, not giving up, I'm finally there.

One of the places I was dying to play was the Madison Square Garden in NYC. Grew up in NYC, first band I saw was Kiss at MSG, dream was to play there someday...happened in November. Same for Frank. We played a tribute to Kiss that night, Ace Frehley's solo from the Kiss Alive! album-what a great feeling to play that at the Garden.

It felt like climbing a mountain for years, and finally reaching the top. And then you start looking for the next mountain...
The Telegraph Calcutta, June 2013
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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 01, 2021 7:07 am

NOVEMBER 11, 2006
MERCK AND GUNS N' ROSES LEAVE SANCTUARY


On November 11, 2006, it was announced that Merck Mercuriadis was leaving Sanctuary Group and taking some of his clients with him, including Guns N' Roses [Billboard, November 6, 2006]. Media had for months speculated in Merck leaving and that he intended to join Irving Azoff's Front Line Management [Hits Daily Double (via Blabbermouth), Sept. 7, 2006; Hits Daily Double, October 19, 2006; Hits Daily Double, October 31, 2006; Billboard, November 6, 2006]. In the end, Merck did not join Front Line Management [Hits Daily Double (via Blabbermouth), November 17, 2006].
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26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS Empty Re: 26. MAY-DECEMBER 2006 - TOURING; IZZY RETURNS AND AXL FIGHTS

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