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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

27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING Empty 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:45 am

CHAPTER INDEX

- 2006/2007: BUMBLEFOOT ADD TRACKS TO CHINESE DEMOCRACY
- JANUARY 2007: RECORDING FINAL VOCALS; SEBASTIAN BACH ADDS VOCALS TO 'SORRY'
- FEBRUARY 2007: THE 2007 WORLD TOUR IS PLANNED
- FEBRUARY 2007: 'BETTER' IS LEAKED
- FEBRUARY 8, 2007: GUNS N' ROSES PLAY AT RODEO DRIVE WALK OF STYLE INDUCTION CEREMONY
- CHINESE DEMOCRACY NOT TO BE RELEASED IN MARCH
- MARCH 2007: 'MADAGASCAR' IS LEAKED
- APRIL 2007: THE TOUR IS POSTPONED AS TOMMY TAKES A FALL
- 2007-2008: AXL AND SLASH
- MAY 2007: 'THERE WAS A TIME,''THE BLUES,' 'CHINESE DEMOCRACY,' AND 'I.R.S.' LEAK
- MAY 2007: GUNS N' ROSES TO PLAY AT LIVE EARTH? NO
- JUNE 2-24, 2007: THE SUMMER TOUR STARTS; MEXICO AND AUSTRALIA
- JUNE 2007: TOMMY AUCTIONS GN'R ITEMS FOR CHARITY
- JUNE 29-JULY 21, 2007: THE SUMMER TOUR ENDS; NEW ZEALAND AND JAPAN
- JULY 28, 2007: 20TH ANNIVERSARY FOR APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION; STEVEN HOPES ON A REUNION
- 2007-2008: VELVET REVOLVER, PART IV
- OCTOBER 29, 2007: SLASH'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY IS RELEASED
- NOVEMBER 20, 2007: AXL IS FEATURED ON SEBASTIAN BACH'S 'ANGEL DOWN'
- CONFLICTS IN THE BAND? BUMBLEFOOT
- TALKING ABOUT WHAT IS IN THE FUTURE FOR GUNS N' ROSES
- NOVEMBER 24-27, 2007: THE CORRAL FIRE ALMOST TAKES AXL'S HOME
- FEBRUARY, 2008: PRE-RELEASE NEGOTIATIONS
- FEBRUARY 2008: MARC CANTER RELEASES RECKLESS LIFE
- MARCH 25, 2008: DR. PEPPER PROMISES FREE COLA IF THE ALBUM IS RELEASED IN 2008
- MARCH 27, 2008: IRVING AZOFF AND ANDY GOULD TAKE OVER AS NEW MANAGERS
- APRIL 2008: A REALITY SERIES BASED ON THE EFFORTS TO RELEASE CHINESE DEMOCRACY? NO
- 2008-2016: BUMBLEFOOT'S PERSONAL LIFE
- APRIL 2008: ROBIN LEAVES THE BAND...AGAIN
- JUNE 18, 2008: THE ANTIQUIET LEAKS
- AXL'S BIOGRAPHY
- 2007-2010: 'SLASH' THE SOLO RECORD
- JULY 30, 2007-AUGUST 25, 2008: SLASH AND DUFF SUE AXL OVER MERCHANDIZE AND COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
- JULY 2008: BUMBLEFOOT RELEASES ABNORMAL


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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:46 am

2006/2007
BUMBLEFOOT ADD TRACKS TO CHINESE DEMOCRACY


After joining the band, Bumblefoot would record guitar tracks for Chinese Democracy.

Being asked how complete the record was when he added his parts:

I would say 'Chinese Democracy' was pretty far along. Everything was written, and a lot of things were recorded. 'Chinese Democracy' wasn't completely done; there were still more guitar tracks to be done, and some other drum ideas that Frank put in. Recording wise, it's hard to say, but about eighty to eighty-five percent? Maybe something like that. Eighty-five percent, from what I heard.


Being asked when he added his parts:

Before the north-american tour in 2006, in LA studios. After the tour, we finished in New York, in the beginning of 2007.


Talking about the forthcoming release and his contributions:

I played on every song. Yeah, it is exciting, but I can’t get that excited without thinking of the other guys. I am more excited for them because their journey with this is so much longer than mine. For me, it has been two years of seriously being active and there are guys who have been doing this for 10 years and I am just so fucking happy for them.

I don’t want to say too much for fear of shaking the gift under the Christmas tree. I’ve played rhythm [guitar] tracks on every song and lots of [lead] solos, added parts to future songs. Over the 2006/7 tours, in between legs, we would hit a studio in New York or LA, just spend ten hours a day laying down guitar parts. Hopefully what I did will add something worthwhile, that will help the song.

[...] in-between legs of the tour we would hit either a... What do you call it? On 8th Street.... Uh, what the fuck. [...] Electric Lady [Studio]. We would hit Electric Lady out here or bounce around a couple of places in L.A. in-between the touring and spend a good 10 to 14 hours a day just trying all kinds of stuff. Just anything I could think of that might bring something to the songs. See what leads to Y, you know. Try different rhythm stuff, try sleaze it up a bit, try some riffy stuff, some things that go with the vocals, some things that go with other guitar lines and melodies, some fretless stuff, some soloing stuff, just everything. And then in the end, you know, decisions are made to see what is best for the song and how loud to put it and whether that or just kick it out. So definitely put a little bit of time to it. I didn't put in ten years, but, you know, I put in some. A little something-some.

Some stuff came about just from playing the songs onstage over the years and figuring out where my part is in all of it. But a lot of it was just being in the studio and experimenting. Try something low, something high, try something that goes with the kick drum, try something that follows the vocals…I would try a hundred things per song for 10 hours at a time, just blasting through every possible idea to see what jumped out. In the case of “Chinese Democracy,” the fretless thing was one of the millions of things I was fucking around with, and everyone dug it. But I’m only on the rhythm track in that song. The solo is a mix between Robin and Buckethead.

When I joined the band, the songs were already written and recorded. I added my parts and some new stuff, like the fretless guitar in the title-track verses. We spent 10 hours or more a day in the studio. I recorded everything I brought, testing different ideas with the fretless guitar for rhythm and solos. At the end of each day, we heard the material and decided the final touches.

I'd spend 14 hours laying down every type of thing I could, different directions in rhythms and solos, as well as different guitars, pickups, amp settings, ways of playing. All my own parts, didn't re-play anyone else's, but there was also a collaborative input. Decisions would be made for what they thought was best, using what where and when. Chi Dem is not your typical album, there's no other that's gone through the journey that album did, and no other probably ever will. It's not a simple 'play what ya want on your own song how ya want it and no one else gets a say in it'. My own albums are like that, this one is about being a piece of a very big musical picture. Where else will you hear me and Bucket and Frank and Brain and Robin and Richard and Axl and Sebastian and Dizzy and Chris and Tommy and Paul in songs together? It's a one of a kind, the rules don't apply.


Being asked exactly what he added:

If I can remember, been years...  in most of the songs I put in loose riffy rhythms, I think it freed everything up a bit.  On top of that, song by song, in 'Chinese' the fretless in the verses, 'Shacklers' the solos, 'Better' some little noodly stuff in the end of the 2nd verse, some little melodic lines in the rhythms in 'Dreams', solos in 'Catcher', 'Scraped' and 'Riad', the rest I don't remember. Like trying to remember how many sprinkles ya put on an ice cream cone 3 years ago...

I think before I played on 'Chinese Democracy', it seemed very tight and more industrial when I listened to it. I felt like the album needed sleaze, and just more sloppy rock 'n' roll (laughs). I put on rhythm tracks that were more riffy; if you listen more towards the right speaker, you just hear this kind of brown toned Marshall rhythm track which just throws a lot of riffs in there and stuff. Things like that I put in there, and all the fretless stuff. I could go through every song, and tell you what I did. Let's see... "Chinese Democracy"; rhythm tracks, and all the fretless stuff in the verses I came up with... "Shackler's Revenge"; riffs during the verses, rhythms, and all kinds of bends and tapping melodies at the end of the last chorus, and the guitar solos. Live I sing the chorus and play the tapping solo at the same time... "Better"; rhythm tracks, and a little slide in this one empty spot, on the fretless. In the second verse, I added some kind of bluesy riffs under the vocals... "Street of Dreams"; rhythm stuff and riffs... "If the World"; little solo riffs during the verses, and the chorus and rhythm tracks, and a couple of little solo things going into the choruses and under the choruses... "There Was A Time"; rhythms in the choruses with a riffy little lift towards the end of each, rhythms throughout... "Catcher in the Rye"; I came up with little parts for the guitars and melodies throughout the verses, rhythm tracks, the solo, the end solos, going back and forth with Axl's vocals... "Scraped"; rhythm tracks, solo on the fretless guitar... "Riad N' the Bedouins"; the main solo in the middle of the song, and rhythm tracks throughout... "Sorry"; rhythm tracks, and at the end of each chorus there's a solo guitar going on, that's my soloing there... "I. R. S."; just rhythm, and sleazy stuff throughout, riffy stuff throughout the song... "Madagascar"; rhythms in the choruses, and just slight riffy shit to the rhythms every once in awhile, breaking out in the choruses... "This I Love"; just rhythms underneath it all... "Prostitute"; just rhythms throughout... Yeah. That I believe is everything. I think (laughs).


And whether his solos on Shackler's Revenge and Riad N' The Bedouins were influenced by Buckethead and whether he tried to outdo him:

Hahaha, no and no. Listen to my demos from 20 years ago and you'll find that I play the way I play, long before there were buckets on anyone's head or bumbles on anyone's feet. Guys from the same era like me, Bucket, Mattias Eklundh, Christophe Godin, Guthrie Govan, and plenty more, all have a similar thread in the spirit of what we do. No one's copying each other, the same way most 70's blues rock guitarists aren't copying each other - but there was something in the air at the time their cast was solidifying, that affected how they expressed themselves. This happens throughout every era of music, and in our case, the transition from the fun gluttonous 80s into the tighten-your-belt 90s, a time when cultures began to merge, big hair rock turned toward funk rock, grunge, rap rock...  there was an open-mindedness, more of a multi-mindedness that occurred.  Listen to any of our solo albums, you'll hear what I mean.


After the release of the album Bumblefoot would be asked if he was happy with his contributions:

I'm as satisfied as I'm capable of being. Because no matter what I do, within a week I'm hearing all the things that I'd want to do differently. What I'd want to add, change the tone, or replay. That's always how it is. Because with any album, the mixing process is never done. It continues for years after the album's out, it's just happening in your head. And the stuff that's in your head, you can't do anything about it. You're haunted by it. So within a week of anything I do, whether it's my album or 'Chinese Democracy', I start getting haunted by little things. Like, how I bent that note, man I should've got more of a squeal out of it. Or, shit, I should've put a harmony on this. I could've had a better melody for that. Whatever it is. So I am as happy as I'm capable of being.


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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:47 am

DECEMBER 2006-JANUARY 2007
RECORDING FINAL VOCALS; SEBASTIAN BACH ADDS VOCALS TO 'SORRY'


Four shows had been cancelled in January 2017 to free up "valuable time needed by the band and record company for the proper setup and release of the album Chinese Democracy" [gunsnroses.com, December 14, 2006; and see previous chapter], and on January 7, 2007, it was reported that Axl was back in the recording studio laying down the final vocals for the album [Las Vegas Review-Journal/Blabbermouth, January 7, 2007].

In 2008, Mark Gray, audio engineer at the Palms Studio in Las Vegas, would recollect working with Axl when he recorded his vocals in December 2006:

[Axl] had a firm handshake and looked you straight in the eye. It was all vocal overdubs or vocal leads. He would move from song to song, working on different parts. He was jumping about, but he knew exactly what he wanted. The producers set everything so the workflow is catered to the artist for anyone, and that is how it went down here. From what I saw, it was first takes or at most two or three takes. Rose would say, 'I can get the part better' or 'I can tighten it up.'

This is Guns N' Roses. I had the butterflies in the stomach the night before each night. It was absolutely special. When you hear his voice, it was a highlight of my career. He just went in and sang. He was living with the record a long time by then, and he really knew what he wanted to do. He proved a good guy to be around. We would start about 5 or 6 in the evening, hitting tape by 7. We worked five or six hours. These were great sessions. It was a great moment in the studio for me, and it was technically flawless.


Gray would say he is sure Axl worked on, among others, "Chinese Democracy," "Madagascar" and "Prostitute" [L.A. Times Vegas Blog, November 25, 2008].


SEBASTIAN BACH AND SORRY


Around the same time, Sebastian Bach would join Axl in the studio to contribute to the song Sorry:

Basically, the collaboration with me and Axl started when he asked me last December to sing on… I was at his house and he was playing me the new "Chinese Democracy" album — actually, there's more than one; there's, like, four — but he was playing a song called "Sorry", which is a very heavy, grinding kind of riff and we were partying and stuff and I started singing a high harmony on the chorus of this song and he flipped out, and he goes, "That sounds great." He goes, "I want you to sing that on the record." So in January, I went to Electric Lady [studios in New York City], and I sang the chorus of this song "Sorry", and it came out really, really amazing.

Axl had a Christmas party, we were playing pool. He played 'Chinese Democracy', a song called 'Sorry' came on and I started singing a harmony over top of the chorus. Axl loved that and booked studio time at Electric Lady in New York the next week, and I sang on 'Chinese Democracy'.


While in the studio, Bach got to hear the song The General which he would describe as "a slow, grinding track" and “the sequel to [Use Your Illusion II’s] ‘Estranged,’ that goes to the parable that Del James wrote of the trilogy” [Rolling Stone, June 25, 2008].

Bach would also talk about whether Chinese Democracy would be released:

They think that 'Chinese Democracy' is never coming out... that is #1 misconception, 'cause I've heard it... like, it exists. To me I think it has a lot more to do with the business side of it. I've heard four albums' worth of material that's incredible. So when people go 'Is it ever coming out?', I go 'Yeah! And you're gonna feel stupid when it does.'

The thing about Axl is that he's a (and again)[=censored swearing] genius. I've heard 'Chinese Democracy' " -- the long overdue Guns 'N Roses comeback album -- "and it rocks, dude. In fact, I sing on one of the songs, 'Sorry.' He's so prolific, dude, that he's recorded enough material for at least three albums, and it's all (encore) awesome. It has the rawness and the power of 'Appetite For Destruction,' but it also has the grandiosity of 'November Rain.' It's just (if he keeps saying it, we'll keep deleting it) awesome.


Being asked if he ever said, "Will you just put your fuckin' record out already?" to Axl:

I said that to him once, and it was one of the only times he bristled at me. He goes, "Oh, everybody, Sebastian's got a great fucking idea. Hey! I should put out a record! Thanks, man, what would I do without you, dude... that's awesome." I was like, "OK, I get it. I'll never say that again." See, the thing that nobody gets, that I get, is that he has like four albums done. I've heard it. So get ready! All you people who don't think he's gonna put out a record are sadly mistaken. He just takes his time. It's his album. Axl does what he wants to do, that's the way it is. And just 'cause you haven't heard it doesn't mean it's not done.
Metal Edge (via Blabbermouth), November 5, 2007

There’s only a couple of times [Axl]’s ever gotten mad at me. One of them was when I let Ron Jeremy in his dressing room. He didn’t like that at all. ‘Why the fuck did you let Ron Jeremy in my dressing room?’ I was like, dude, he was begging. That wasn’t a good time for me. Axl goes from zero to 60 faster than any hemi engine, I’ll tell you that. When we were first hanging out in 2006, we were just standing around a bunch of people. I go, ‘Axl, do you think you might get the record out? It would be a great time, now that we’re on tour and everything.’ He goes, ‘Oh. Great! Everybody! Sebastian has a great idea here, man. Guess what? Sebastian, should I put out a record? Maybe it would be a good idea for me to put out a fucking record! Hey everybody, listen to this! I never thought of that! That never came to me! Oh, great idea dude.’ I felt like Fred Flintstone in Mr. Slate’s office.


Bach would also talk about the leaks and Axl's reactions to them, and mention the song The General that he had heard:

But those aren't the final versions. He laughed about those. Those aren't the record. Those are some other version of whatever. One of my favorite songs — I asked Axl if I could mention the song titles and he said "Fine" — and one of my favorite songs is this song called "The General", which is so… it's by far the heaviest metal tune I think Ι've ever heard Axl do, this slow, grinding riff with these high, piercing vocals, screaming vocals. I was like, "When is this coming out?" And he said, "2012." I was like, "Dude, you're killin' me!" He goes, "Well, this comes out on the third record. It relates to this song, it's a trilogy, this goes with this lyrically." He's got it all figured out, he's just different than other people. He does things on his own time, in his own way, but you know... the world's not prepared for what I've heard from this guy. It's got the grandness and the epicness of "November Rain" but with the snarl, the attitude of "Appetite". Because the album that I've heard, a lot of the drumming is by Brain, who plays so heavy and mean. It's a really... grand is the word for it, but its still got that attitude. There's some great music comin' your way.
Metal Edge (via Blabbermouth), November 5, 2007


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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:47 am

FEBRUARY 2007
THE 2007 WORLD TOUR IS PLANNED


SOUTH AFRICA


In February 2007 it was reported that Guns N' Roses was to travel to South Africa in April to play at The Coke Fest event at the Newmarket Racecourse in Johannesburg on April 27 and Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town on Tuesday, May 1 [The Star (South Africa), February 2, 2007].

I've been fortunate enough to play in some of the most historic buildings and stadiums around the world but performing in South Africa will truly be an honor. I can't wait to see South Africa. This is a dream come true.



ANNOUNCING DATES


Later in February it would be rumoured that dates in Japan, Thailand, South Africa, South America, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand were being planned [Blabbermouth, February 22, 2007], and in March the following dates for the tour's first leg were announced:

April 14: Makuhari Messe, Tokyo, Japan

April 15: Makuhari Messe, Tokyo, Japan

April 18: Rainbow Hall, Nagoya, Japan

April 19: Intex Osaka, Osaka, Japan

April 22: Intex Osaka, Osaka, Japan

April 27: New Market Racecourse, Johannesburg, South Africa

May 1: Kenilworth Racecourse, Cape Town, South Africa
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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:48 am

FEBRUARY 2007
'BETTER' IS LEAKED


In February 2007, a version of Better would spread through the Internet and getting some airplay [Blabbermouth, February 22, 2007].

This is why leaks are a problem. It's like working on a painting, and someone displaying it when it's only half done. It hurts the artist because something's getting out there that people assume is the final version, the best version, etc. The other people that it hurts are the FANS — I mean, the *real* fans, the ones that care the most.

The latest 'leak' is obviously some experimental mix of 'Better' — not any version I ever heard, but I don't claim to have heard everything that's out there... Whoever put it out there did a real mindfucking of the fans, especially to do it now, when the album's release is growing closer.

I have faith in everyone involved in the mixing of the album that they won't disappoint, they'll stay true to what you love about GN'R.


Dizzy would say the version of Better was an unfinished version leaked through a Harley-Davidson website [see later chapter for more information on the Harley-Davidson advertisement]:

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.


Dizzy would also generally lament the leaks:

For the record, absolutely none of the songs that have been leaked have come from the band or our organization. None of the songs that have been leaked are anything more than demo versions, works in progress. No final mixes.

It’s really frustrating working on something as hard as we have and then having it wind up on the Internet before it’s finished. Hearing a demo on the radio really sucks.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:48 am

FEBRUARY 8, 2007
GUNS N' ROSES PLAY AT RODEO DRIVE WALK OF STYLE INDUCTION CEREMONY


On February 8, the band would perform Knockin' On Heaven's Door and Sweet Child O' Mine at a gala honoring Donatella and the late Gianni Versace:

Guns N' Roses brought down the house at the Rodeo Drive's Walk of Style ceremony on Thursday night in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The event was a star-studded gala honoring Donatella and the late Gianni Versace. A wall-to-wall A-List, including Jennifer Lopez, Cindy Crawford, Ashton Kutcher, Sharon Stone, Quincy Jones, Naomi Campbell, Elton John (who also performed), Demi Moore, Prince, Elizabeth Hurley, Ingrid Sischy, Sebastian Bach, Mischa Barton, Franca Sozzani, Paris Hilton and many others attended the event.

Donatella Versace personally asked Axl Rose if GN'R would perform, and Axl obliged with a stripped-down version of GN'R featuring guitarists Richard Fortus and Ron "BumbleFoot" Thal, who played acoustics on "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" and "Sweet Child O'Mine" to close out the ceremony.

With full command of the stage, Axl moved and sang like only Axl can. Bassist Tommy Stinson was unable to attend because of a personal family issue so keyboardist Chris Pitman filled in admirably on bass. Lead guitarist Robin Finck, keyboard player Dizzy Reed and drummer Frank Ferrer all tore it up.

GN'R capped off a magical evening with a great performance that left the captivated audience enthralled and satisfied.

Immediately after their all-too-brief set, Axl and the boys went from the stage into the audience, dancing with their wives and girlfriends and mingling with fans as well as society's elite.




Rodeo Drive Walk of Style



Tommy's "personal issue" was likely the horrific attack that happened on his family on February 3 when a stranger broke into his sister-in-law's house and shot her, her husband and one of her sons, resulting in the latter two dying [see later chapter for more information].
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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:48 am

CHINESE DEMOCRACY NOT TO BE RELEASED IN MARCH


Back in late 2006, Axl had announced a tentative release date for Chinese Democracy on March 6, 2007 [gunsnroses.com, December 14, 2006]. On February 22, 2007, Del James posted to say there was no official release date but that all recordings for the album was now done and that the band was in the mixing process:

'CHINESE DEMOCRACY' UPDATE

The good news is that all of the recording for the album has been completed. Drummer Frank Ferrer and guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal integrated themselves into the recordings seamlessly and will have their presence felt.

There is no official release date, as the band is currently mixing, but after some delays and scheduling difficulties, things appear to be moving along.


Later in 2007 Slash would be asked when it would be out and would explain that Axl will release it when he is comfortable with it:

Everybody asks me that. I didn’t mention that in the book because it’s on Axl’s watch. It’ll get done, and it’ll come out when he feels comfortable with putting it out. And Axl works in a different time zone than I do. So what may seem like a long time to other people is a tick of the clock to him. It’ll come out though. It will.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:49 am

MARCH 2007
'MADAGASCAR' IS LEAKED


On Thursday, March 29 at approximately 7:00 p.m. EST, a full-length, studio-quality version of the Guns N' Roses song "Madagascar" was leaked onto the Internet.

The track, clocking in at 5:41, was released as the result of some "cunning" work by a well-known forum member.

Many fans initially speculated that the track was a fake. However this theory was dispelled by GN'R guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal who revealed that the recording was "not an album cut, but an old demo."


Chris would later discuss how the song's iconic French horns intro came about:

The funniest instance of us doing stuff, I was up at his house for about a week or two and I was setting up... you know, because I'd worked with a couple of film scores before and they set up, back then, these rack mounted samplers like Kurzweil and EMU and you had your kind of fake orchestra with synthesizers. You know, one would be the strings, one with brass, and so on and so forth. And I was setting that up for him and he came out, I'm just going, "Okay, now this module here we're going to use this for brass instruments and here you have horns," and he was, you know, he was playing while I was switching the sounds. And I switched the sound to a French horn sound and he was playing this chord progression and I went to another sound he goes, "Oh, go back to that one," and we went back into French horn sound. And he kept playing his progression and it sounded really cool. And I turned around, turned on the tape machine and that ended up being, and you can hear it today, the very intro of the song called Madagascar. And that's just how that evolved and he just had this chord progression and all of a sudden it married with the French horn and it was a super moody song and that was the start of that song. And actually we recorded it really quickly up there in his house. And he just sang unbelievably on that. Great song. [...] and that exact moment is still on the record today, that's what surprises me, you know. because it takes me right back to that incident.


And talking about who plays what live:

[Dizzy] plays the French horn parts and I'll play the strings over the top of it and it comes off great. It's pretty powerful.


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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:49 am

APRIL 2007
THE TOUR IS POSTPONED AS TOMMY TAKES A FALL


Just before embarking on their 2007 tour, Tommy had an accident and all the Japanese shows had to be rescheduled with the new start of the tour taking place in South Africa [gunsnroses.com, April 11, 2007].

I feel so bad right now. I accidentally fell down a flight of stairs. I put my hand down to break my fall and heard a loud 'pop.' The next morning my hand looked like a balloon. I went to see my doctor, and while the good news is that it's not broken, the bad is news is it's severely sprained and I may have done some ligament damage. We had our last rehearsal a few days ago and shipped the gear to Japan and then this happened. I feel horrible.

I'd like to apologize to our Japanese fans that were looking forward to seeing us and know that we will we see you all soon. Again, we'd like to sincerely thank our fans worldwide for their patience and support.


Then the shows in South Africa were postponed too, with the tour starting in Mexico:

Guns N' Roses have announced that their 2007 World Tour will begin June 2 in Monterrey, Mexico.

The tour had been delayed because of an injury to bassist Tommy Stinson's left wrist, but the sprain is healing nicely and the band will be back in action soon. Unfortunately, GN'R will no longer be appearing as part of the MyCoke Festival in South Africa.

June will see GN'R perform three concerts in Mexico before heading to Australia and New Zealand. It's been 15 years since GN'R last performed in Mexico, Australia or New Zealand, and the anticipation is beyond belief.

July has GN'R traveling to Japan for a series of rescheduled concerts. [...]

June 2: Arena Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico
June 3: VFG Arena, Guadalajara, Mexico
June 5: City Sports Palace, Mexico City, Mexico
June 10: Burswood, Perth, Australia
June 13: Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide, Australia
June 15: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia
June 20: Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, Australia
June 23: Acer Arena, Sydney, Australia
June 29: Vector Arena, Auckland, New Zealand
July 14: Makuhari Messe, Tokyo, Japan
July 15: Makuhari Messe, Tokyo, Japan
July 18: Rainbow Hall, Nagoya, Japan
July 21: Osaka Jo-Hall, Osaka, Japan


The message above suggests Tommy's injury had not healed sufficiently for the shows in South Africa to be performed.

Robin would comment on the postponement and express his bitterness and disappointment:

I'm writing now in the wake of the recently postponed and cancelled GNR commitments in Japan and in South Africa. I guess I'm writing because I too am disappointed, have a conscience, a website, and I am not on the Bullet Train to Osaka this evening.

I purely want to share with those whom were avid for seeing GNR at these concerts that I too was looking forward to seeing you all. The band was primed and pumped, production packed and shipped. Then, much to our distress, unforeseen circumstance walked in, dropped its surly case and announced with certainty, "I'm here! ". What can we do.

I have received innumerable emails from real people who where hooking up with friends or family, flying to faraway cities, booking hotels or friend's couches, docking the USS Kitty Hawk, and otherwise scheduling their time and enthusiasm around these events. In short, these peeps wuz straight stung adrenalized and lettin' me square have it! I too was psyched about the shows, planning to meet friends and family, watch the cherry blossom blossom etc. It is my wish that your bounce forward from here be one of a willful arc and opportunity. Believe me, I'm swallowing that very pill by your side.

Well, I'm not gonna go on with this letter, this letter to you who've sent me. I think you catch my drift.

Best of spirits to you all and I sincerely wish for you a successful trip ahead. Have fun wherever you are-.
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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:49 am

2007-2008
AXL AND SLASH


In 2007 and early 2008, Slash would be gracious towards Axl:

Now I'm at the point I feel like if anybody came up to me and said something negative about Axl then I'd f**king punch them in the mouth. I'm very proud of my relationship with him and all the other guys and what it achieved and all that kind of shit. But more importantly I think I've grown up past all that bickering back and forth stuff because that stuff was initially very personal and it shouldn't have been glorified by the media. You know that band was f**king bad ass and I'm very proud of the whole legacy which is obviously pretty cool.

I'm just glad that he (Axl) is out there doing his thing again. We didn't know what was happening with him for a long time, but I'm looking forward to hearing this album.

We have not spoke, no. You never know. I don't have a crystal ball to foresee the future, but as fate will have it we'll end up in the same room or maybe never. He's not crazy. He has his own way of looking at things. That's basically it. I have a genuine affection for the guy that will always be there. But we also hit some very rocky roads along the way and stuff. So I can't say I necessarily miss him. But he was a really interesting, great musician. He was great to hang out with and all that kind of stuff so it's regrettable that we ended up going off in such a negative — on such a negative note. I can't say at, you know, I sit around going, God I miss him. I don't think he probably would do the same for me, but we had some really cool times together, so I don't hate him.


And later he would sort-of suggest he was at fault for Axl being mad at him, although not specify why:

I know about what's going on with him, probably about as much as anybody else does because it pops up in conversation. Otherwise, I don't really spend too much time thinking about it. But I'm glad that he's out there and he's doing something. He's got a record, which I know is done. He just has to put it out. I really have no animosity toward him anymore. I have finally gotten over that. I don't have any of this sort of bitter resentment about the whole fucking upheaval that was 1996.

So it's actually a nice, content feeling, and I'm glad that he's working and I'm glad that I'm working. I feel like I've achieved something by having gotten a little bit out from underneath the umbrella of the constant Guns N' Roses recognition, which is great to an extent. You want to be able to do some other stuff without having it's like toilet paper on your heel. So now I feel content in doing what I'm doing and sort of letting bygones be bygones. Although I think he's probably still pissed at me for a lot of things. But I'm like, whatever. It probably is my fault. Whatever, I'll let it go.


And also talk about having lashed out at Axl after he quit Guns N' Roses:

[...] mostly I was pissed because I felt like I was leaving my own band. There was a really ugly vibe that has lasted for years. When Velvet Revolver started, Duff and I did an international press tour to promote the record, and everybody was coming at me with Guns N’ Roses questions because I hadn't really addressed the issues. I was like a cornered animal; anything that came out of my mouth was an attack on Axl and that sparked more animosity. But I have reached out to him a couple of times since to show that I'm not so... Well, not so bitter that I can't communicate. There's still part of me that loves a part of Axl. There's still a part of him I could relate to.


Being asked if he looks at Axl and scratches his head:

Not as much as everyone else because I know him a little better. I don't spend that much time dwelling on it. I think about it when people ask me about it or tell me something about it, people I know who know him.

'There is nothing bad between me and Axl -- it is just a dead relationship.


In 2007 Slash would say his visit to Axl's home in October 2005 had been to apologize for having badmouthed Axl in the press [see earlier chapter], and he would continue talking about a desire for reconciliation later in the year:

We haven’t really spoken, but I think what I would like to sort of do is clear some of the air. The media sort of perpetrated a lot of negative energy about the whole thing; and I think I probably helped, too, because I think when I started doing press when Velvet Revolver first started I was still bitter about the whole Guns N’ Roses breakup and I didn’t have anything really positive to say. [I would like to] sort of air that out, if I can.


He would also suggest Axl had felt abandoned when Slash quit the band:

Well, at this point, I think, with all fairness to Axl, I actually left the group and I think he feels sort of - I mean, I haven’t approached him about getting back together anyway, but I would imagine that he feels pretty abandoned.

[That was] an unprecedented sort of kind of thing. I don’t think he thought that I was serious. And I think that really caused a lot of bad blood.


In 2008, Sebastian Bach would tell a story about how he almost, possibly, got Axl and Slash to play on the same record:

I actually talked on the phone to Sly Stone because I always wanted to do obscure covers of Sly Stone songs. I want to do them in the style of ‘Back in the Saddle’ from Angel Down. I had a whole session ready to go. Sly said, ‘I’d love Axl and Slash to come play on this.’ I texted Axl and said, ‘Would you be interested in singing with Sly Stone on some music?’ He goes, ‘Yeah. If this is a real album that Sly’s doing, I will come down there and sing with you guys.’

I was footing the bill for this session on my own. I had everyone ready to go. At the very last minute my manager calls Sly and says, ‘What’s Sly going to need?’ Sly wanted me to buy him a dog. He gave me this information on a specific kennel in northern California in Napa Valley and a specific breed for one puppy that he wanted me to buy for him for $8,500. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back on the session.

If this isn’t crazy enough, two months ago Slash called me out of the blue and asked me to work on a project that it is not Velvet Revolver — it’s another project with high-profile musicians. I asked him, ‘Would you be interested in playing with Sly Stone on a thing?’ I explained it to him and Slash goes, ‘Yeah, I’ll do that.’ I almost had them reunited on a Sly tune. That still could happen. If I can afford to buy Sly the puppy he wanted, I can reunite Guns n’ Roses.

I was raised on Sly and the Family Stone as much as Kiss and Judas Priest and I’m so honored he’d want to work with me. To get Axl singing on it, it sounds nuts, but that’s what I do. If I can get together the $8,500 bucks to buy Sly the attack dog, then it’s on.


This never happened so possibly Bach was never able to raise that money.

In mid-2008, Slash would reiterate some of his old criticisms of Axl:

[...] I haven't met anybody in a successful band who has been through anything as difficult as what I went through with Axl Rose. It was Axl against the rest of us. I'm the type who realizes how lucky I am to be able to go out and play every night. That's all I've ever wanted to do. But Axl is not coming from the same place. The inconsideration that was shown to everybody, the constantly being late on stage, and the inability to get anything done just made for a miserable situation. I'm a workaholic when it comes to music. I have to stay busy all the time - especially now that I've stopped drinking – because free time kills me. I mean, it has been 12 years since I left Guns, and you're still waiting on a new record.


Yet also speak fondly of him:

I've always had that soft spot in my heart and there's a tight connection between Axl and I that no amount of mudslinging can erase, I guess because we came from nowhere together.


Then in late 2008, Axl would say that fans had been lied to by others in their efforts of self-promotion:

What I can say now is u've been told a lot of things in order for others to promote themselves that factually they cannot backup in regard to either. They are complicated legally, financially and have devoured a good portion of my life.

U've been lied to and misled for such a long time that sorting through all that here is virtually impossible. A lot will come out over time but the truth has been out there for a long time as well but that doesn't give you what you want so this dance just goes on and on.


It is highly likely Axl is here referring to Slash and possibly to some extent also Duff.

When asked if he misses "the old Guns from time to time", Axl would dismissively claim he missed that brief period where they worked for a common goal:

I miss the illusion we shared for only a few months if that of thinking we were in this together. It wasn't real or if so only ever so briefly while deeper currents of ambitions were temporarily put aside but I didn't know that then.


When a poster on mygnrforum said Axl sounded "bitter as fuck", Axl replied:

And no, I'm not bitter at least in the sense of how you used it conveys. Felt good gettin' some of that off my chest and as I said that's just the tip. If that's your honest impression it's definitely not rose colored lenses you're wearing. And I looked up the definition of bitter once in a pocket dictionary and got "having anger at something unjust or evil". I'm not angry but when I am with this particular someone who I thought was once my friend... the definition fits.


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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:50 am

MAY 2007
'THERE WAS A TIME,''THE BLUES,' 'CHINESE DEMOCRACY,' AND 'I.R.S.' LEAK


Further leaks happened in early May 2007, with "The Blues", "Chinese Democracy" and "I.R.S." leaking on May 4 and "There Was a Time" leaking on May 6 [Blabbermouth, May 7, 2007].

Zutaut would be asked if he recognized the leaks from the time he was working with the band in 2001-2002:

Some of it’s the same and some of it’s different. For instance I have heard a leaked version of Chinese Democracy that has some really weird keyboards in it and I don’t like the sound of that at all. The stuff that we worked on back in ’01 smoked its ass. But it’s pretty dicey to try compare what’s been leaked: we don’t know if it was intentional, we don’t know who leaked it. It could be a board mix that was meant for a keyboard player so he could learn his parts…
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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:50 am

MAY 2007
GUNS N' ROSES TO PLAY AT LIVE EARTH? NO


In May 2007, it was rumoured that Guns N' Roses would perform in Hamburg, Germany, for the Live Earth event which takes place at various locations around the world on July 7th [GN'R Daily, May 8, 2007]. Live Earth was a global music event to alert the public to the danger of climate change and would happen simultaneously in New York, Hamburg, Tokyo, London, Sydney and Rio de Janeiro. In June, the rumour had changed to the band playing at Copacabana in Rio De Janeiro for Live Earth Brazil [GN'R Online, June 10, 2007].

In July, Axl put the rumours to rest:

Guns N' Roses or myself will not be performing at Rio Live Earth or Live Earth for a couple of reasons. The first is that we were not asked until the last couple weeks while we were on tour in Australia and have upcoming sold-out dates already rescheduled in Japan. Our gear is already en route to Japan for these shows. We have attempted to find a solution to be able to perform in Rio, but unfortunately none has been suggested.

I was asked to perform individually with Lenny Kravitz by the promoters and Mr. Gore. As we were working this out, Lenny unfortunately became injured and temporarily canceled his involvement from the event. According to the promoters, by the time they had reconfirmed Lenny's performance, there wasn't enough time to arrange flights for myself to Brazil and then to Japan for our upcoming shows. Unfortunately, I was not informed that Lenny's performance was reconfirmed until our own explorations and in following the media surrounding the event today, which is Saturday morning here in Australia and Friday in Brazil.

Guns N' Roses or I were not asked to play anywhere else such as Japan or Australia (as we are already in the regions on tour) and in which we have formally offered to perform but the offer of our involvement was declined.

We wish all involved, the performers, the organizers, the fans and audiences around the world all the best and a very successful event.

Thank you,
Axl Rose.
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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:50 am

JUNE 2-24, 2007
THE SUMMER TOUR STARTS; MEXICO AND AUSTRALIA


The first two shows of the 2007 Chinese Democracy Tour was at Arena Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico, June 2; and Arena VFG, Guadalajara, Mexico, June 3.

The band would post about the shows and the start of the tour at gunsnroses.com:

The 2007 Chinese Democracy Tour got off to a blistering start with two sold-out concerts in Monterrey and Guadalajara, Mexico.

From the opening notes of "Welcome To The Jungle" to the final encore "Paradise City," Guns N' Roses had the rabid crowd going wild all night long.

Spontaneous chants of "Guns N' Roses ... Guns N' Roses" and "Axl, Axl, Axl" were deafening. Among the many highlights was Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal's guitar solo that saw the six-string maestro incorporate several traditional Mexican songs.




Bumblefoot and Frank



The band then headed for their last show in Mexico, at Palacio de los Deportes, Mexico City, Mexico on June 5.

Guns N' Roses' performance at the Sports Palace in Mexico City on Tuesday night was non-stop high energy, the way rock n' roll was meant to be played. Over 21,000 screaming fans never lost their energy during the more-than-two-hour set and often sang so loud that they drowned out the band on stage.

Even after the final encore was over and the house lights went up, the crowd was still cheering for more.




Robin and Tommy



After Mexico the band travelled to Australia with the first show at Burswood Dome, Perth, on June 10.

This is my first time in Australia, and I'm expecting all good things, despite being in the vicinity of the world's most poisonous creatures. Call me an optimist. Seriously, everyone I know who's come to Australia says it was the best - beautiful scenery, great people. I won't be disappointed.


Later, Bumblefoot would talk about the flight:

Oh man, let’s start off with the flight to Australia. At first I was dreading the flight because it was a good 14 hours, but it was the most comfortable flight I’ve ever been on. It was the first time I actually had a full comfortable night’s sleep on an airplane in my entire life, so it’s the first time I ever experienced that. So it was off to a good start.


As on selected dates of the North American tour in 2006, Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys would join the band on stage to play his ditty Liquor and Whores. He would repeat this for the shows in Adelaide and the two shows in Melbourne.

Over 15,000 fans packed a sold-out Burswood Dome in Perth to see the first show of Guns N' Roses' 2007 run through Australia. Aussie fans showed their vocal appreciation of the massive production with deafening cheers and signs thanking the band for visiting Perth.

Axl shared a tale of an all-night tequila marathon in Mexico that brought laughter and cheers from the fans. Also bringing laughter and cheers was a cameo by Bubbles from the Trailer Park Boys, who sang "Liquor and Whores" with GN'R. Openers Rose Tattoo and Sebastian Bach both performed stellar sets that went over incredibly well with the crowd.




Axl and Bubbles



The band continued to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide, Australia, June 13. After this show a photographer got to hang out with Axl and the band:

It was about 1.30am on Thursday and I was hanging out in front of the Hyatt Hotel hoping to snap a photo of their frontman Axl Rose as he arrived back from their show at the Entertainment Centre. As the band's car rolled up and the door opened, out stepped the rock legend and I caught a few frames, not believing my luck. Little was I to know, my luck was only just beginning.

A few minutes after the band had gone upstairs, their publicist re-emerged and asked if I wanted to get a better shot of Axl and the other band members later on. I agreed and she tool me into the hotel, sat me down at the bar and organised a bar tab.

About half an hour later, she came back and said to put my camera away and just come up to the penthouse and mingle for a little bit. When I first walked in, there were about 10 people but about an hour later, there were about 30. There were three trolleys of spirits on offer, two large eskys of beer, including South Australian brew Coopers, and a tray of Red Bulls.

Axl was still in the shower and the rest of the band were just arriving. They were really quite nice, coming up and saying hello. And they were turning down the lights, trying to get the right ambience, to set the mood. One of the guitarists was sitting at the piano quietly playing and singing Elton John and Beatles songs. It wasn't exactly what you'd expect.

When Axl came in, his publicist came and introduced him to me. I've got to admit, I was pretty nervous. I've heard stories of Axl breaking cameras and beating up photographers. I had no idea what to expect. But he was very easygoing. I didn't feel out of place at all. It was just like going to a mate's place for a few drinks. I was certainly made to feel welcome.

He talked about how he loves wallabies. He said you can buy them in the States and he has owned a few of them as pets. I suggested he get a kangaroo but he said they were just too big. He was also discussing wombats and seemed to like all Australian animals. Axl always had a drink in his hand but he wasn't out of control. He had a lot of energy and just seemed happy. He was going around talking to everyone, mingling, having a laugh.

The band said they had never seen Axl this happy after a concert before. The thing that really stuck with me was talking with him while he sat there and casually played the piano. He wasn't playing anything in particular but it was all pretty laid-back. He also talked about his cigar collection. He was just being a really nice guy. I was therefore almost four hours before they left for the airport to fly out.

I didn't really want to press them before that and they just wanted me to become comfortable with them before getting the photos. I snapped off a few shots but I didn't want to push it by asking for a photograph of Axl with me. Apparently someone had asked for his autograph during the night and he said he didn't like doing that sort of thing. I didn't want to spoil it.

And then they were in their car and off to the airport. It was a weird turn of events. I would have put Axl in the top 10 celebrities that I was never going to meet. So to meet him, talk to him and be at his party was pretty exciting.

It was a bizarre night but very much a night to remember.


The next shows took place at the Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia, June 15 and 16; and the first out of two shows at Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, Australia, June 19 and 20.

In Melbourne, Axl would enter the stage on a red motorbike and footage of this would later be intended for the music video to the song Better:

I think it's in the Better vid. Not sure if we cut it.


At the first show in Brisbane, Axl was hit by a water bottle already during Welcome to the Jungle, the opener song:

Is that what you want? You want a battle? If you're going to act like that, then you know I don't have to be here.


The band then travelled to Sydney for two shows at the Acer Arena, Sydney, Australia, June 23 and 24.

The Guns N' Roses 2007 trek through Australia ended on a very high note with two sold-out shows in Sydney at the Acer Arena this past weekend.

Over 10,000 fans attended each concert, and as an added bonus, at each show GN'R performed the Rose Tattoo classic "Nice Boys (Don't Play Rock N' Roll)" with none other than Angry Anderson.

With Axl and Angry trading off verses and singing the choruses together, it was truly a magical jam with scorching sonic energy coming off the stage -- the proverbial icing on the cake for an amazing series of concerts. To celebrate, GN'R threw an after-party at a Sydney night club called Ruby Rabbit that did not end until long after the sun came up.




Axl and Angry Anderson



Looking back at the Australian shows:

I think we landed in Sydney then shot all the way over to Perth. Then we drove up to Fremantle and visited Bon Scott’s grave, paid our respects. Just the little things you remember. I remember being on a train and there was a young girl who had part of her face painted – she was going to a football game and the way it looked was something different to what you see in America. She had a little flag painted under her eye. It’s the little things like that. I remember those things more than the shows. Just the normal, human moments. Those are the things that really stand out. Y’know, the view from the hotel in Sydney overlooking the Opera House and the bridge and everything. Walking around with my wife, Sebastian Bach and a couple of guys from his band, and suddenly some guy in a trenchcoat comes running up to us going “Hey! Hey! Hey!” and he opens his coat up and pulls out Axl’s microphone. It turns out that the night before, when Axl through his microphone out, that’s the guy that caught it. Oh what else… I remember also in Sydney eating in a really nice restaurant along the water at night… just the nice moments like that. The shows are always… how do you even describe a show? It starts and your brain is in this other mode, and next thing you know the show is over and it’s more like one of those hazish dreams: “Did I just play, or didn’t I?” So unless something very significant happens in the show, I don’t really remember the show in a very clear way. But it’s everything after. Going back afterwards and meeting Chris Szkup and his girl, hanging with them. I can still picture seeing them and this nice drawing they gave me in a frame, which is hanging in my living room right now. It’s hanging over my wife’s head as she’s sitting on the couch right now watching Hell’s Kitchen on TiVo. So it’s little things like that. No matter what happens, good or bad, those are the fond memories that make it an endearing experience you cherish. The dinners, the hanging out.


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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:51 am

JUNE 2007
TOMMY AUCTIONS GN'R ITEMS FOR CHARITY


As mentioned previously, a terrible attack happened on Tommy's sister-in-law and her family in February 2007 [see previous chapter], and in June Tommy would auction Guns N' Roses items to raise money for his sister-in-law:

ATTENTION GN'R FANS!!!!!!

I'm reaching out to you because I'm helping out with a benefit show (www.krugeraid.com] that was in Waseca, Minn., on June 9 at the Waseca Fairgrounds. It was a day-long event of music, food and family activities. On February 3, 2007, my sister-in-law, Hilary Kruger, and her family were devastated in a horrible act of violence when a stranger broke into their home and murdered her husband, Tracy, and Alec, one of her two young sons.

Hilary is still in critical condition as I write this. We are trying to raise money to get her and her son, Zak, back on their feet, as they have a long and very difficult road ahead of them. Here's a link to the story: http://www.startribune.com/467/story/978914.html

Golden Smog and Soul Asylum, as well as some very special guests, DJs, etc., played this show. If I wasn't currently on tour with GN'R, I would have played on this bill. A lot of my close friends performed, and I personally would like to thank you all. I am also helping to coordinate a couple of eBay auctions.

The auctions feature a Robin Finck Les Paul guitar that was used in concert, and hockey and baseball jerseys signed by ALL the current band members of GN'R. All proceeds go directly to Hilary.

I'm extremely grateful to my bandmates for their help and support. I would be very appreciative of your support as well. Thanks for listening. It means a lot to me and my family.

Thanks
T.S.


The items to be auctioned were one GN'R Autographed Robin Finck Gibson Les Paul Guitar; three GN'R Autographed Star Logo Hockey Jerseys, all separately autographed (sizes M, M, L); one GN'R Autographed Asian Logo Baseball Jersey (size L); and one GN'R Autographed Roses and Pistols Logo Baseball Jersey (size L) [gunsnroses.com, June 20, 2007].



Auctioned Les Paul



Tommy would later thank people taking part in the auction:

This is a brief message from Tommy Stinson to all the GN'R fans ...

I'd like to thank all the GN'R fans out there for making the eBay charity auction a huge success. The guitar and jerseys made over $13,000!!!!!!

My family is forever grateful to you all for the love and support you have given. The money made from the auction will go a long way in helping Hilary and Zack put their lives back together.

Thanks again. See you soon.

T.S.
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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:51 am

JUNE 29-JULY 21, 2007
THE SUMMER TOUR ENDS; NEW ZEALAND AND JAPAN


After Australia, the band continued to New Zealand with two shows at Vector Arena, Auckland, New Zealand, June 29 and 30. As in Sydney, Angry Anderson from Rose Tattoo sang with Axl on Nice Boys.

Review in New Zealand Herald:

It will never be the same. But no one here - not even the bogan chick spewing over the railing or the teens in their ironic bandanas or the politely seated older fans - expects this strange incarnation of Guns'n'Roses to fully transport them to the 80s. You have to use your illusion.

Axl Rose, now 45 and the only original member of GnR, is almost unrecognisable with his rotund frame, ridiculous corn-row braids and shades. Backed by seven rock ring-ins, (including long-term guitarist Robin Finck and keyboardist Dizzy Reed) and booming fire balls that erupt from behind the drum kit, he belts out the thrilling opener, Welcome to the Jungle. It's 11.45pm.

Rose does all the characteristic moves - spinning with his mic stand, bobbing from side to side and running, faux-recklessly, across the stage. But he moves in a more considered way. He calls himself the "kinder, gentler Axl", and at one point, stops the music to ensure no one is getting crushed in the mosh. When he holds the mic skywards and gives his first "cry-eee-eyee" on Live and Let Die, he almost looks like a gospel singer.

Pity he doesn't quite sound like one. It's not until Sweet Child O' Mine that his squally rock howl really makes an impression. When he's not getting the crowd to sing the chorus, he gives a heartfelt performance of Knockin' on Heaven's Door.

Elsewhere though, that snakey vocal is a little swamped, and new songs from his promised but not-yet-delivered Chinese Democracy album wash over an indifferent crowd.

The ring-ins play the hits with the accuracy of a practiced house band: It's So Easy, Mr Brownstone and, when the grand piano is wheeled out, November Rain.

It's when they make the show about their own rock theatrics that things start to get messy. There are torturously long and flamboyant solos from Finck and Reed, and what's with the Bob Marley covers? Pink did Redemption Songs a few weeks ago; this time it's a naff duet by the two guitarists, as Rose disappears into the wings again.

By the time support act Sebastian Bach reappears for a guest turn the crowd are restless for a hit. They get it from Patience, Night Train, and, in the encore, Paradise City.

Does it feel as dangerous as it once was? Hell no. But it's still fun, if a little freaky, to go back in time.

As the tired Auckland crowd heads home just after 2am - a crowd Rose once thought of as one of the "rowdiest" he'd encountered - you have to wonder if his late stage appearance was rock'n'roll arrogance or a sensible decision from a former hellraiser who has well and truly grown up.


Del James would mention visiting a haunted house together with one of the guitarists before the concert:

Last year, GN’R were in Auckland, New Zealand and I found out about this haunted house called Spookers. Spookers? Of course I wanna go to some place called Spookers but unfortunately it was only running on the same night as the show. There were three bands on the bill: Rose Tattoo, Sebastian Bach, and Guns N’ Roses. As road manager, part of my job is to get every band members to and from the venue and make sure everything is all sussed out. Well, the last van going to the venue took a slight detour so that we could go to Spookers. I had one of the guitar players with me. I also had one of my best friends, Hernan, who’s part of the Guns N’ Roses crew, onboard. We had some family and friends and we all went through the mazes and got chased by monsters and did everything your supposed to do at a spook house and still got to the venue in time to do the gig. Now, someone else might have a moral conflict with hijacking a van to go to a spook house on a show night but I don’t.


The next show took place at Westpac Arena, Christchurch, New Zealand, July 3.

The band then travelled to Japan for the re-scheduled shows that should have been played in April. The first two shows were at Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan, July 14 and July 15. For the first night, Bumblefoot played his usual instrumental version of Don't Cry as his encore, but this time Axl came and joined him on vocals, with Frank also joining. This would be the first time Don't Cry had been played since 1993.

Over 17,000 fans braved a typhoon and packed into the Makuhari Messe Hall in Chiba City to witness the first concert by Guns N' Roses in Japan in five years.

From the opening strains of "Welcome to the Jungle" until the last explosion of the final encore, "Paradise City," GN'R had the sold-out crowd screaming for more. So Axl gave them what they wanted. After the sweat-drenched band had taken its final bow and was walking to the dressing room, Axl called a spontaneous audible. Axl and guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal went back to the stage and did a rare duet of "Don't Cry." Despite the nasty weather, the two-hour set was a smashing success.




Bumblefoot with fans.



Ah, man, I can't begin to put into words what a fuckin' high it's been since we got here. The whole energy of Japan, I just love it. A lot of memorable moments in these shows, a lot of love goin' back and forth, ya know? It's been pretty intense. We can't thank the fans enough for it and we hope that the next three concerts are as awesome as the first two were.


Then followed a show at Nippon Gaishi Hall, Nagoya, Japan, July 17 before the band played at the legendary Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan, July 18.

An estimated 9,000 fans packed into the world famous Budokan Hall on Wednesday night to witness Guns N'Roses live in concert. For a rocking two hours, GN'R fired on all cylinders, giving their Japanese fans a concert they won't soon forget.

Axl and guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal performed "Don't Cry" to the sheer delight of the crowd. Drummer Frank Ferrer is a huge Cheap Trick fan and paid tribute to one of his idols by dressing a la Bun E. Carlos in a white shirt, black tie, and, of course, the cigarette behind his ear. Also, Bubbles from the Trailer Park Boys joined Guns onstage and performed "Liquor and Whores."


Bumblefoot would comment on playing Don't Cry with Axl:

We were heading off stage, and then turned back around, went up there and did it. [...] It’s always different. It may not seem like it when you read the set lists online, but it's never the same show. A lot of times the things that seem significant to you go very unnoticed by other people, then something subtle like, “let’s do “Don’t Cry” in a different spot”, people take a big notice to that – especially with Axl singing it, of course. [...] It was kind of spontaneous. It was just like “let’s do it”, and I was like, “Yeah? Alright. Let’s give it to them.”




Frank dressed up.



The last show at the Japanese leg of the tour was at the Intex Osaka, Osaka, Japan, July 21.

Guns N' Roses' 2007 tour of Japan came to a climactic conclusion Saturday night at the Intex in Osaka. Another full house packed the hot venue for what would be GN'R's longest and arguably best show of the 2007 Japanese tour. [...]

Among the many highlights was when guitarist Finck jumped off stage during "Nightrain" and ran all the way to the light console located at the rear of the venue. Drummer Frank Ferrer was, once again, sporting the Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick) look.


Jarmo, admin at the Guns N' Roses fansite Here Today Gone To Hell, was touring with the band and would post about the band partying after the final show in japan:

After the last gig in Osaka on Saturday night, several band members and friends headed out into the warm Osaka night to celebrate.

Later on in the night, Axl, Bumblefoot, Frank, Tommy, Bubbles and classical pianist friend Takayoshi Azuma went to a club and jammed to GN'R, AC/DC, Cheap Trick, Led Zeppelin Tom Jones and all kinds of trippy jams.

Here's a short clip of Bumblefoot singing Knockin' On Heaven's Door: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMJpCEFkX2g

Bumblefoot would like to thank all the Japanese fans for making this tour the best time of his life.


This would conclude the touring in 2007 and were Robin's final shows with the band. The band would not tour again until after the release of Chinese Democracy, in 2009.

After the touring, Chris would fondly look back at touring Japan:

I have so many great memories of touring in Japan, playing at 'The Budokan', at the Baseball Stadiums, festivals, and meeting so many great people there, I'm really looking forward to coming back and building some more meaningful relationships there.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:51 am

JULY 28, 2007
20TH ANNIVERSARY FOR APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION;
STEVEN HOPES ON A REUNION


On the 20th anniversary of the release of Appetite for Destruction, Steven was doing a show at the Key Club, in Los Angeles [Guitar World, July 18, 2007]. Steven expected Slash, Izzy and Duff to be there to celebrate:

I’ll be down there with my band [Adler’s Appetite], and Slash, Izzy [Stradlin] and Duff [McKagan] will be there too. It’s gonna be great.

I'm pretty damn sure Slash and Izzy [Stradlin], they already said they were comin'. Ronnie's [Ronnie Schneider, Steven's tech during the GN'R days] gonna try and talk to Axl [Rose] about goin'… [...] Well, [Duff]'s workin' with Slash, and he's in town… nothing's confirmed. I hope he'll be there.


A couple of days later Izzy would mention possibly being there:

Steven is playing Key Club this Saturday.... I may drop by and say hello. Cheers, Izzy


Izzy and Duff did indeed join Steven on stage to play a couple of Appetite for Destruction songs, while Slash, who had been there, had to leave before the show [Blabbermouth, July 29, 2007]. Slash would later explain he didn't want to join on stage because if would fuel reunion rumours:

I went down there for a minute to say 'Hi' to Steven and what-not. What happened was Steven has finally come out of that sort of haze that he's been in for the last 17 years — I don't think I need to explain it any more than that. I was sort of instrumental in getting him out of the place he was in into a little bit more sober kind of environment. So I've been hanging out with him and supporting him and stuff. He had that gig that was about to happen, and I'm really jazzed that he's gotten back on the drums and he's gotten ambitious again and he's gonna go out and play. And then at some point he went public and said… Steven's just an excitable guy and he meant well when he said it, but he said that there was gonna be this reunion, that I was gonna be there and Duff and Izzy and Axl possibly, and that just fueled that already rapid-fire kind of Guns N' Roses rumors that goes on. Once I started getting phone calls and e-mails from all over the world about this gig, I said, 'You know what? I can't support it as such 'cause that's not what it is.' So I went down there but I didn't wanna get up and play because I didn't wanna fuel that any further. So I think Duff got up and played, and Izzy got up and played, and it was what it was, but I don't see any reunion happening for real.

That whole thing was blown out of proportion. I finally managed to get Steven out of Vegas and cleaned up, back on his drums and all that kind of stuff. Then (to no fault of Steven's Slash adds,) he did his first sort of interview having to do what he was doing and he mentioned that gig. He said that Duff would be there, Izzy would be there, and I would be there. I did say that I would be there. Izzy sort of mentioned that he may go and Duff had no idea and that Axl might be there. And it turned into this glorified Guns N' Roses reunion thing all over the world. I didn't want any part of that, because that's not what it was. I was even reluctant to go down there, to be seen there. But I did go down there for a couple minutes to say hi to Steven and never even entered the building; I was in an alley in the back. [...] There was no way I was going to go up and play. Even Izzy and Duff played separately.


Slash is incorrect in the above statement, Duff and Izzy did play together on Mr. Brownstone.

Steven would later claim it was Matt and Scott Weiland who had made Slash not join the anniversary show:

Oh yeah, [the anniversary show] was great. But Matt Sorum and that other guy, that singer, that Scott Weiland guy — that's why Slash didn't come up and play, because they kept calling him and being all upset, like, “What are you doing there?” Like little babies, little kids. Like, what the fuck? Just let him come up and play a couple of songs. They were like, “Oh, we don't want you to.” It was crazy.

If you go on to mytube… youtube “Steven Adler,” you can see Izzy playing with us over at the Key Club. And Duff. And Slash came by, but his other guys, the Velvet Revolver guys, were a little cranky with Slash playing, so that’s why he didn’t play.




Steven, Duff and Izzy
Key Club, Los Angeles, July 28, 2007



Duff would talk about the anniversary:

It's an awesome legacy to have. It's hard to believe that we were 21 when we wrote those songs. That was a big part of my life, but it was just a part of it. I remember some of it - I don't remember a lot of it. It gives me something extra when we play the world - people know me. We didn't reinvent the wheel, we just happened to be connected to punk rock and the 70s Nazareth thing. It was a weird mixture of things that a whole generation latched on to.

Well, it was pretty ad hoc celebration. I mean, Steven Adler had a gig and I think it landed on the day the record came out. And whether they planned it all at the Key Club in L.A, probably – but, you know, for me it was cool, because for us it wasn’t a 20-year celebration. It was Izzy calling me and saying, “Hey, Steven is in town, he’s rehearsing for this gig, I’m at his rehearsal place.” I said, “Where is it?” I’d just got out of rehearsal for this tour and, as it turned out, it was, like, two blocks from where I was driving, where I was at that point. So I went over and I hadn’t seen Steven for some years – I’d talked to him on the phone, but he lives in Vegas and I just hadn’t seen him. It was great seeing him, and we got up, I played a song with those guys, Adler’s Appetite, and it was fun. It was really like… it was Jerry Cantrell, Sean, myself, Gilby and Izzy, all going down to just hang out. To us, it wasn’t a celebration of 20 years.

But, I mean, it’s not lost on me that this is the 20th anniversary of, you know, a big change in my life, and a band that really believed in itself and believed in the songs, and hell or high water we were gonna get those songs across. And it really seemed, for the first eight months, that nobody was going to get it. We just toured, toured and toured, and nobody got it. And that was fine; we didn’t really expect anybody to get it. All of a sudden, with the release of Sweet Child, it went from, you know, 17 people in the audience to the next night…We opened for Aerosmith at that point. Nobody knew who we were except for our 17 fans, and next night it was 70, and it really went this quickly. Like, the next night was 700, and by the end of the week it was all 15,000 people there for us. It was really exceptional and really cool. So, you know, a great time in my life 20 years ago.


And Slash would respond and lament that the record company is not capitalizing on the anniversary with a special release:

It's something that the record company's not recognised. There's no new special release. [...] That's record companies. Fuck 'em. I care, but what are we going to do? I don't deal with those people any more. I'm sure Axl wanted to do something, but nothing came out of it.
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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:52 am

2007-2008
VELVET REVOLVER, PART IV


2007-2008: TOURING


The tour start in Japan was cancelled when band members were refused entry due to criminal backgrounds. Slash would talk about this:

We're trying to appeal that situation. It's nothing that we did since the last time we played there. But for whatever reason, they decided to do that. That obviously disappointed a lot of Japanese fans.


Then the Australian start was postponed on November 29 because of "health issues" on one or more band members [The Courier Mail, November 29, 2007]. Not long after it was revealed that Scott Weiland had been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of an unspecified drug after a car collision on November 21 [Ultimate Guitar, December 4, 2007].

It would be rumoured that the Australian tour had been cancelled because Weiland had relapsed and the band and management insisted he went to rehab before the tour, and Weiland would later comment on these rumours and claim it was cancelled because Matt had to do to rehab:

Oh, that’s a bunch of bullshit! There’s absolutely zero truth in that. The band had nothing to do with me going into rehab at all. I never even had a conversation with them about it. I wasn’t even speaking to them at the time. As a matter of fact they didn’t even know that I was going until the night of the show. [...]

I was talking to my manager – who is not their manager – and was trying to get a bed at this place. The only person who had an idea that I was going was Matt, cos he went to the same place when the original tour got cancelled. What happened then was I went to dry out for three days at a place my shrink has, because I was drinking a lot. We were supposed to leave for Australia, but Matt came to rehearsals and was so fucked up that the band sent him back to rehab. That’s the reason the first tour of Australia got cancelled. A tour gets cancelled, and regardless of what Matt’s offences were no one pays attention to that because, to be quite honest, no one really gives a shit.

A couple of months later I was saying to my manager: “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I want to go back into rehab again.” I was looking for a place by my house but the prices had changed from five years ago. So Matt directed me to a place in Orange County. It’s fucking ironic that the band says they asked me to go, because I tried to stop the tour earlier and go. So eventually I said: “Fuck it! Book me a bed and after the gig I’m going.” So I packed a bag, did the gig and split off without them even knowing. So the last couple of shows [in the US] we didn’t do. But y’know what? It was more important that I went, because I was in a miserable place. It was the first time in years that I went to a rehab place because I wanted to.


Duff would respond:

Nobody was blaming anything on anybody. At least I wasn’t. I mean, both those guys at that point were fucking gone. At least Matt did go into rehab. Matt was ready to go. Matt was like, ‘Look -I fucked up. I’m in rehab - I’ll bring a guy with me, let's go’. He came up to rehearsal to rehearse. But both those guys were pretty gone. Scott got a DUI right then and if anybody should sit there and blame anybody it could be me going, ‘Both you guys fucked up!’ But I’m not going to cos I just don’t feel that way.


The tour troubles did not disappear, for the band's show on January 20, 2008, which would be the start of the 2008 US tour, Weiland did not appear resulting in the band asking audience members if they wanted to come up onstage and sing [Page Six/Blabbermouth, January 21, 2008], Duff singing It's So Easy and I wanna be Your Dog [Classic Rock, January 24, 2008] and Matt singing Patience [Classic Rock, January 22, 2008]. After the show, Weiland released a statement:

I truly apologize on behalf of the band for our inability to perform at the scheduled party during the Sundance Film Festival. I performed the previous night in Miami in support of the A-Rod Family Foundation, and afterwards a jet was arranged to fly myself and a couple of the crew members to the festival, where I was looking forward to performing. Not only was I hoping to ROCK, but I also wanted to snowboard AND have some well...good and clean fun! Seriously, though...I even already had my 'one-piece' long johns on (no shit!!). Now...the problem was that the pilot of the private jet would not...I mean, absolutely would NOT fly us to Park City due to the low visibility and poor weather conditions. We did everything in our power to make it happen. At last minute, Matt tried to hook up a flight from L.A. to Park City, but the owner of the plane could not find a crew in time.

I'm sorry...we all are. Who knows...maybe this happened for a reason.
Blabbermouth, January 23, 2008


Velvet Revolver's publicist would confirm Weiland's story [Blabbermouth, January 22, 2008].

But Duff would imply something was wrong with that story:

I sang It’s So Easy and I Wanna Be Your Dog and then we were panicking a bit over what to play so Matt [Sorum] got up and sang Patience, Matt’s a great singer, he really is. Why wasn’t Scott there? Scott missed his plane, yeah, let’s say that, Scott missed his plane…


Then in February 2008, the band had to postpone a San Diego show on February 7 when Weiland entered rehab [San Diego Union Tribune, February 8, 2008].

He checked himself in to rehab. Scott took the initiative to get in there. Nobody forced him, and that’s a good thing. You see shows on TV, like Intervention, but until you’re really ready to get clean and sober, you’re going to do what you’re going to do. It could have gone the other way, but he decided he needed to take care of business so he’s down there taking care of himself.


At the start of the tour, Matt would emphasize Weiland was fine and ready to tour:

Scott is healthy and ready to rock. We are all ready to get back on stage and play for all you fine people. See you rockers soon.


Then, a week or so later, Duff, would be asked if the tour will be completed:

Scott is OK as far as I know but I can’t say he’ll be fine when the tour kicks off or when it finishes. You just never know. Addiction is crazy and I should know. I can’t be cagey and say, ‘Oh no, we’re going to be fine and everything’s going to go without a hitch’. The truth is I just don’t know what will happen.

I don’t want to read this interview where I’ve said there’ll be no problems and then for us not to finish the tour. I don’t want to have to eat my words. All I can say is that right now I’m confident it will happen and we’ve never sounded better as a band.


In April 2008, Slash would claim Weiland didn't enter rehab and that this was the final straw that resulted in him later being fired from the band:

During the tour with Alice In Chains [in August 2007], he was just out to lunch. When he came back, he was supposed to go to rehab, so we postponed our Australian tour but he didn't really go to rehab. That was the final blow.



MARCH 2008: WEILAND ANNOUNCED THIS WILL BE VELVET REVOLVER'S LAST TOUR


Then on the band's March 20, 2008, gig in Glasgow, Scotland, Weiland would announce this was Velvet revolver's last tour:

You're watching something special... the last tour by Velvet Revolver.


A fan at the show would describe how it went down:

Once [Scott announced from the stage that this was VR's last tour], Slash, Duff, Matt and Dave all looked at each other. They sang 'Fall to Pieces', then Scott goes over to the side of the stage and argues with the sound guy. After a couple of songs, he threw his mic down and walked off. After a long wait, Duff came out with the band and sang the start of 'It's So Easy'. Scott shows up about half way through, sang really half-assed then gone again...


Later, Classic Rock would write about the incident that precipitated Weiland's comment on the stage: he believed that Matt was singing along on the songs [Classic Rock, June 2008].

Matt would quickly respond with a public statement:

So last night was interesting. Had a little band turmoil on stage as you probably all could tell. Being in a band is a lot like being in a relationship. Sometimes you just don’t get along. I guess there has been more turmoil lately I guess with the cancellations and all.

It has been frustrating I am not going to lie. My career and life in Rock n Roll has come with its ups and downs. Unfortunatly some people in this business don’t realize how great of a life they have. Touring the world, meeting great people and fans all over the world. And just playing music for a living. I feel truly blessed. But sometimes the road can be draining for some, being away from home and family does grind on you sometimes. With all the traveling and different beds. Personally I Love this Shit and sometimes can’t believe I am so lucky to still be doing what I do for a living.

Everybody could see who was unhappy lastnight but all I can say is Let’s keep the Rock alive people!!!! In this life u just pick up and keep moving. And don’t ever let anybody stand in your way. The TRUTH Rock On!!!!!!


Matt's statement would result in a scathing response from Weiland:

Responding to our drummer's rant about why the band is in a state of flux:

Well, first of all, the state of my family affairs is really none of his business, since he is too immature to have a real relationship, let alone children. So don't attempt to stand in a man's shoes when you haven't walked his path. Secondly, 'keeping rock 'n' roll alive?' I've made many attempts to remain cordial with the members of VR, but mainly, the likes of you. Funny though this is your FIRST band, as opposed to being a hired gun. I've been making records (now on my ninth), which have sold over 35 million copies worldwide and have maintained a level of professionalism regardless of how many drugs I've ingested into my system. I have only cancelled one tour during the entire course of my 16-year run and that was the 'make-up' Australia tour. Now, shall I open that can of worms, Matthew? Release the Kraken? Serve... Volley! You cancelled the Aussie tour in the fall because you went to rehab, but I won't say why we'll just let Blabbermouth find out for themselves.

As for our fans I will sweat, bruise, and bleed for you. And will continue to do so until the end of this tour. However, you deserve to hear Velvet Revolver playing not certain individuals singing along to get a muddied up sound. God forbid could one imagine if I grabbed a guitar and started soloing along with Slash? That would never happen because I know my place. It's a shame we were a gang. But ego and jealousy can get the better of anyone. I wish the best and plan to annihilate the stage in the last few shows.

On a separate note, we did an STP photo shoot before this tour and it was fun, inspiring and it gave me that thrill that feeling that got my rocks off from the get-go.


The "certain individuals singing along to get a muddied up sound" relates to Weiland believing Matt had been singing along [see above and Classic Rock, June 2008].

Slash would be asked to comment:

Well, lets put it this way - this is not Velvet Revolver's last tour.

I have no comment. Obviously I'm very aware of everything that's going on. The only thing I can add to that is in contrast to what Scott says there will be a Velvet Revolver after this tour.

Matt and Scott have had an issue since we had to cancel shows in Australia [Weiland checked in to drug rehab] and now it's all come to a head. And Scott's remark in Glasgow was like... well the rest of us were giving him the cold shoulder. We weren't even going to come to the UK. We only did it because the enthusiasm level for the tour was so high and the gigs were sold out. The band will continue after this tour, but in what form I can’t say. I'm not Nostradamus.


Commenting on Matt and Weiland "sniping at each other":

The specific reason why they were doing that was the silliest thing that we'd ever heard. Scott was basically saying our drum tech was singing along with him behind my amps with a microphone and it was making the sound muddy. That's what it was about. Scott got pissed off and went after the drum tech. Then the next night he said Matt was doing it. He was like, "I can hear someone singing behind me..."That’s honestly what he thought was happening. Bizarre...


And when asked if that would be with Weiland singing:

I have no comment on that [chuckles].


In May and June, Matt would discuss the feud between him and Weiland:

I did a blog on my website, which I get 200 people look at it? I don't know how many people look at it. The strangest thing about the internet now is that damn Google alert! So I just put up a blog. I said, 'Hey man...' At first I thought it was sort of damage control, kind of thing, and I said, 'Hey I'm sorry about the vibe onstage.' We were in Glasgow, Scotland in front of some of the greatest fans in the world, and I felt bad for them. I really did. I felt bad. I was in my hotel, and I couldn't sleep. I was upset, and I said, 'I'm really sorry for what went down some of us are just unhappy.' [...] Everybody could see what was going on that was there at the gig. It was very evident. I just said, 'Hey...' That's what I felt at the time, and the next thing I know it's up on Blabbermouth and every other site in the world, and then I got the wrath of Mr. Scott Weiland -- skinny little guy as he is. He's the kind of guy that would drive by you in a car and shout out some s--t to you, and then he's got three buddies in there -- and then run. It's like f--k you too, pal! You know? If I saw him right now he'd probably be running down an alley way. He knows I'm twice his size. What the f--k?!

I think actually before we got into a little wordy thing. But initially, what I'd said before is, when we were in Glasgow, Scotland, and he got on stage and made a rant about "Velvet Revolver is over," well, I took that very personally, because me and Slash and Duff had that band two years before he came along, and he claims that it was his name and all that kind of stuff. Well, you know, we came up with the name “Revolver” and he added “Velvet” to it – well, it's half of ours and half his. Whatever, but… [...] we worked for a long time before we got Scott. We weren't going to just say, “Hey, Scott is leaving; we're going to break up.” You know, no. Uh-uh. So, when he said that on stage, I was pretty upset. I went back to my hotel, I sat down and I wrote a blog on my website. You know, I just really felt at that time that I wanted to do damage control and I felt bad for the crowd. And, to be honest with you, I was really sick of dealing with it, that kind of attitude, and I've been doing it my whole career, just kind of sitting back and letting these guys get away with fucking murder. And I just said, you know, “Fuck this shit, man. I'm gonna get on the internet and I'm gonna write some stuff to my fans that are my fans, too; they're not just his. And I said, “Look, I apologize for some people's behavior,” you know, “it's not the band.” I didn't want them to think - you know, not that we ever really took blame for it, but I didn't want the fans to think that we were just going to lay down and play dead. And I said, you know, “Everyone knows whose fault it was.” It was very apparent who was up on stage being an asshole and I'm just not going to be the guy that's going to take responsibility for that. So I kind of said something and then that got grabbed all over the internet. [...] I woke up the next morning and it was on blabbermouth.net and all those other sites.


Later, Slash would talk about the band would give Weiland a cold shoulder during the tour:

We basically didn't speak a word that whole time. We gave him the cold shoulder in the UK like nobody's business. There were a couple of arguments around the stage, but, other than that, nobody spoke to him. I imagine he was quite uncomfortable. No wonder he didn't have a good time. Then he told everyone in Glasgow that the whole band was over. We were like, “Oh, well, I guess we've got a surprise coming for you, Scott."


Talking more about how dysfunctional it had become:

For the most part, I don't really remember seeing much of [Weiland]. We flew to Dubai together, I think, when we played recently. Well, I think I remember him being on the plane, anyway. We sort of got used to him not being around. He's never really been part of the mechanics of the group – he’s always been separate and doing his own little thing.


On March 25, Weiland would do an interview with Classic Rock that would be released in June. At the time of the interview, Weiland would claim that Velvet Revolver's management had confiscated his passport to prevent him from leaving the tour [Classic Rock, June 2008]. Weiland would describe the obvious problems within the band:

There’s a lot of baggage that comes with the band, and a lot of displaced anger. Y’know, when I first joined Velvet Revolver I already had issues regarding the politics of a rock’n’roll band. When you’re the frontman and the person who writes the majority of the music – all the melodies, all the lyrics – the person who comes up with all the creative ideas – video ideas, concepts for covers, that sort of thing – eventually other band members start looking at you.

Initially you’re the asset, especially in the first couple of years. You’re the one who has to give all the interviews – when times are great and when times are not so great. So suddenly people are saying: “Why is he getting all the attention?” Well, sometimes none of the other guys want the attention. Well, they want the attention but they don’t want any of the responsibility that comes with it. Which is one of the issues I brought with me from STP [Stone Temple Pilots].

[...]

So there was this period of time before Velvet Revolver that I really didn’t want to play in a rock band again. I was knee-deep in recording my solo record. I was in the process of putting together my record company and I was producing other bands. I co-produced two of the Limp Bizkit records. Not my favourite band by any stretch of the imagination, but it definitely put me on the map as a producer. I also had kids and didn’t want to spend the rest of my life on the road.

But those guys [Slash, Duff, Matt Sorum and Dave Kushner] were looking at a bunch of singers and doing a movie. They were sending me CDs of songs, and eventually I heard some stuff that I found intriguing and I started to get to know them a little bit. I felt a kinship with them in the beginning because they had gone through some shit with their previous band.


Weiland would continue to talk about the band in past tense:

[...] it was almost like coming together off a rebound. At first it was very exciting and we did jive. We had the same common interests. Duff and I shared a lot of the same musical interests with punk rock. Matt and I shared an interest in experimental music. Dave and I had known each other from back in the days of playing clubs in Hollywood. And then you had Slash and I who were – and I don’t want to come over as self-serving – two iconic figures, which the media tried to turn into a Mick/Keef kind of thing. We did have that gang-type camaraderie at first. At the same time, I was in the worst period of my drug addiction I’d ever gone through.


And a conflict with Matt:

The relationship I had with Matt became horrendous [in 2007]. He and I had come close to fist-fights so many times that it’s ridiculous. He has an attitude with lead singers. It’s a problem he had before Revolver – in Guns N’ Roses and The Cult. And, who knows, maybe even before that. Slash and I have always been able to maintain, except on a few occasions, a professional relationship. Duff and I have usually been close. Then everything started to erode. I couldn’t believe I was in this situation where I was getting ostracised by people who had been in the same fucking situation that I was in.


He would also suggest the same thing was happening now as had happened in Guns N' Roses and express sympathy for Axl:

Right now it’s like a relationship that’s dead in the water, where you need space to figure out if it’s important enough to last. The band need time out to sit back and let the creative juices flow, and also time away to realise what everyone’s part is in why things have gotten to the point that they’re at. Now, I’m not saying that I’m innocent in this, but everybody’s at this place where the fucking finger is getting pointed and they’re all pointing the finger at me. When you think about it, isn’t it ironic that the band is regurgitating the same story that they did with Axl Rose in their last band, where the lead singer was being demonised? Originally I thought: “What a troll he must have been. What an evil man.” But you know what? I have to say that I have an entirely different opinion of him today.


Classic Rock would ask Weiland if he had plans to thrash the stage during the last show or leave early:

Oh, I can’t do that, because the management have threatened to arrest me. How do you figure that one? What is this, a fucking Mormon Tabernacle Choir?!


Later, Slash would say the incident in Glasgow hadn't really matter because the abortion of the Australia leg had already sealed Weiland's fate:

The Australia thing was the final nail in the coffin. We just wanted to get through the UK tour, and then when that thing happened in Glasgow we didn't even feel bad about what was going to happen any more.


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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:52 am

OCTOBER 29,  2007
SLASH'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY IS RELEASED


In early 2007 it was reported that Slash was working on his biography:

Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash just sold his autobiography to HarperCollins. The British born, California-raised ax man will work with writer Anthony Bozza, who helped drummer and carouser Tommy Lee pen his memoir, Tommyland.

He's probably too embarrassed to tell us about that, but I'll read it.


In August the book was almost done:

It's almost done! I thought about doing it forever, but I didn’t want to look like I was getting bored from what I was doing. Then Velvet Revolver happened and some people thought if I was going to do it, it's a good time to do it because you have another career started. Then I started realizing the amount of rumors and shit that Guns N' Roses has generated in all the books that are unauthorized. I hooked up with this guy and I started to do an autobiography and so it's coming out. [...] I think we will try to get it out in November of 2007. The writing is done and now is just the editing.

I don’t know what people are expecting but what I’m writing about is as much as I can remember from between the time I was born in the UK and Velvet Revolver. Everybody kept bugging me about doing a book and I said I didn’t want to do it - this has been going on for a couple of years - because it makes it sound like I’m saying that was my whole life. Then it was suggested that I chronicle my Guns N’ Roses life because now I’ve got another career, another band going. And I could see the point of doing that. It’s not about guitar necessarily - I don’t get into the details like a guitar magazine interview - I just talk about some of the shit I was into and everything is thrown in there. Life in general...


The book would be written together with Anthony Bozza, and Slash would talk about the unexpected amount of work he had to do:

It was a lot like having kids. It was sort of like, I thought my wife was gonna do all the, you know, diapers and this, that and the other, and I just had to hang out and be cool, and it turned out not to be that way (laughs) ... Writing the book was the same kind of deal. You know, it was a lot more complex than the actual interview part of the thing, which I thought that would basically be it. But instead I'd read it back and go, 'Oh, no, no, no...'and really have to write it myself.



WHY HE WROTE A BIOGRAPHY


Talking about why he made it:

I never wanted to write a book, because it would be too final. The only reason I wrote it is because a lot of the stuff I was reading and seeing about the band got pretty frustrating. I just had to straighten out some s--t.

I’ve been approached about doing a book for probably all the wrong reasons so many times, I couldn’t validate it in my own mind. For one, it seemed very self-indulgent, very self-centered and very final -- and I have no plans of retiring. Finally, I started to realize all this Guns hype that goes on, all this bull--- that surrounds that band, it’s inaccurate, and most isn’t even inaccurate, it’s just made up. I got fed up with it. (The book will) answer a lot of these questions. I just figured, “Be as honest as possible.”

That’s one of the reasons, one of the inspirations for doing the book in the first place - because I've been approached about doing a book for years and I just was never interested. But because there's still so much attention given to Guns N’ Roses, and all the controversy, the breakup, and Axl’s new record, me and Axl’s relationship, and all this stuff, people have been just taking artistic license to make up whatever they want. Nobody monitors it, there's no control over it, and people just, sort of like, make up what they think would be really entertaining to write - you know, for whatever reason. And there's also a lot of rumors that are perpetuated by the media, and so on and so forth, and that's what made me go, “I just need to set the record straight from my end,” so that if anybody… you know, because I get asked a lot of questions, especially because of Velvet Revolver, where I have to do so much press, and at least 20% of every interview has to do with some [bleep] that I have to explain all over, and over, and over.

Well, what happened was, I decided I was gonna write the book because I wanted to set the record straight on a lot of the Guns N’ Roses mania that's been going on. So we figured the best way to do it was to do it in book form. And this is why the timing is such, it’s because in the last couple of years the Guns N' Roses stuff has been overwhelming - and because of Velvet Revolver: I'm out doing press all the time and I have to deal with 15% or 20% of Guns N' Roses questions, all the same stupid stuff. So we said, “Well, let's do an autobiography.” So it's a snapshot of my life and the Guns stuff is in there, and… there you have it.

It was the only format that I could find where I could get some of the facts straight about Guns N' Roses. A lot of the stuff that's been going around is just wrong, and people have been asking me a lot of stupid questions.

I would never write an autobiography just to talk about myself. That's not my personality. But it got to this point where, because Velvet Revolver is so high profile, and I'm doing so much press with them, I'm faced with having to deal with Guns N' Roses stuff 20 per cent of the time.

So I said, 'Let's do a book and I'll get all this s--- straight.'

I put the book out to sort of set the record straight on a lot of the story having to do with why I quit Guns 'n' Roses, and the band reuniting, and a lot of other subjects having to do with that band. Basically that's what influenced my decision to write a book. Prior to that I had no interest in writing a book, even though people keep asking me. But after seeing all the attention that Guns 'n' Roses has garnered of late, all the misinformation that's available to people, and all of the other, you know, falsehoods that are going on about a lot of different things, I just figured probably the only way I'd be able to do myself and the story any justice is to write it myself.

The sole motivation for the book was to straighten out a lot of the myths about Guns N' Roses that are still prevalent on the Internet and in unauthorized biographies. I'd love to sound like the book was sort of a deep statement for me. But, in all honesty, it wasn't. It's really everything that's on the surface; I'm way too introverted and shy to bare my soul.

Well, you are on KNAC.COM, so I am sure that you are probably aware of all the hoopla that goes on about Guns N' Roses. It has gotten to the point as being really overwhelming. The amount of misinformation that is taken in stock on the Internet and the media at large just got to be really overwhelming. On top of that, there was a couple of unauthorized books, one about me and one about Axl, and one about the band. It was just taking artistic license on shit that they didn't necessarily know anything about and going out and capitalizing on it. I just got to a point where I needed some sort of a vehicle to be able to set a few thoughts straight. The media wasn't the way to do it. So I resigned to writing a book. Which is way out of character for me. I have been asked about writing a book a bunch of times and I flatly turned it down. So I said, "You know what? Fuck it. I am going to actually to do the book.

Anthony [Bozza] was someone who was introduced through my management. He was a little bit apprehensive. We had this great conversation one night and that was months and months before I actually decided to write the book. It was just sort of a preliminary meeting with an author to get a feel for it. The guy was so genuinely fascinated by some of the experiences that I had and just things just seemed to pan out in my life and what not, and he was really encouraging about it. He just sort of gave me an idea on an angle for writing a book so it wouldn't sound very final. That is what books always represent to me. Autobiographies are like this is my last hoorah. That is obviously not the case. He inspired probably about six or seven months and me later. He and I hooked up again, and just started commencing on doing the interviews for it. So it was in a way, it was fun to do and it wasn't an overly intimidating experience or anything like that. The intention of the book was to provide some insight on a few facts to the public that really no one never knew that had to do with Guns N' Roses. It is just some antidotes from where I come from playing guitar, how Guns started, bands I was in, and some of things that happened along the w

It was a different experience. I was resigned to writing the book due to the fact that some guy came out with an unauthorized Slash book. So, I just decided to do my own book, because doing an interview or press release to offset any of this stuff didn’t work. The guy who I wrote the book with [Anthony Bozza] had such a genuine zeal for my whole story. Not just the cliché stuff. It was a real collaboration between us. I wrote entire chapters of the book on my Blackberry… sending it to my co-writer. But you know, it was worth it, because finally after all my input, it turned out good.

I often struggled with the concept of writing a book, but I never did, because I didn’t want it to sound like I reached the end of my rope and was planning my retiring. But I really needed to put a cap on all the Guns N’ Roses rumours which were inaccurate. There are too many people who write books about us and have no idea what the truth was.



TRYING TO REMEMBER THE PAST


He would also discuss the problem of remembering things that happened since he didn't had a diary:

It almost reads like a journal, except for the fact that I never wrote anything down. It was a hard book to make, because I was pretty f--ked up from 1980 to 2000-something. I really had to dig deep to try and remember a lot of s--t."

[I] can't remember three-quarters of what went on.

I mean, if you think of that, there was a lot of partying, a lot of excess going on. So, you know, it was pretty daunting to go back and say, “Okay, can I remember all this accurately?”


Being asked why people should trust Slash's recollections when he admittedly don't remember a lot of it:

Well, I mean, everything that's in the book is stuff that I remember actually happening. It wasn't that kind of a foggy… If there was something I could remember, I didn't remember it at all. But if I did, if I recollected anything, then it came back pretty solid. And, you know, there's a very honest retelling of everything that I basically know about that whole period (laughs).



NOT ABOUT VENTING


Slash would quickly emphasize that the book was not about venting but just a factual recollection of his life:

It's hard to write a book, because it seems like it's all about me. It's sort of weird. It's got some funny shit in it. It's not really a book that I'm out attacking anybody or venting all my grievances on it or that kind of shit. It does sort of factually tell everything that happened since I started till now.

didn’t want the book to be a vehicle to vent my frustration. I just wanted to be fair and honest, because I realized that my point of view is only one point of view.


And that he would treat Axl fairly:

This is not a vehicle for me to vent. It's not to lambast Axl or to talk shit about anybody else. It's just telling the story as I knew it.

It will set the record straight as far as I’m concerned. There’s no dirt in there, there’s no stirring up any shit. I’m not about to reveal secrets about people or relationships that they wouldn’t want out there. It’s more of a day-in- the-life kind of thing and all sorts of precious secrets are still intact. I didn’t go out to be vicious or anything.


Despite claiming to protect Axl and others, Slash would be honest about his own life:

A lot of that stuff I came back and cut out because I didn’t want it to be one of those books that basically bragged about how hardcore (we were), blah, blah, blah. Especially nowadays, (because) a lot of musicians and rock bands have this badge they wear that says that they can party really hard, and I hate that. But I probably talk more about that than I actually talk about music. The music was sort of a natural thing you don’t have to talk about, but chemical abuse was sort of every living, breathing moment.


Yet not make it very personal:

I'll let you in on a little secret. The book has a lot of stuff in there and it's all good and everything, but I'm very private. There's a lot of stuff in there, but it doesn't tell all. It's not as personal as it sounds. It's all stuff anybody could tell you if they were there.

There is some personal stuff in there, having to deal with certain incidents that a lot of people wouldn't know, or weren't there for. But the majority of the book has things that happened--and it's all sort of cool--but it's not an emotional or opinionated or a personal view on things the way that some autobiographies are. I can't even keep a journal or write lyrics because it's so hard for me to express myself on that level. If someone were to ask me to write a book about, "How do you really feel?" I'd say, 'F--- off.' It has a lot of accounts of a lot of different things, which are sort of cool. It has some in detail and it has a lot of what was going on that led up to the Guns break-up and stuff that happened post-break-up.


Being asked if people expected him to bash Axl:

More than expecting me to, I think they wanted me to. Everybody was poised for picking that book up and reading all the negative stuff they could possibly hear about Axl. That was not my whole purpose of expelling that relationship and the demise of the band. I just wanted to shed some light on the reality of why we broke up, not to berate Axl for anything that he didn't deserve. Axl is not as bad a guy as some people make him out to be, and I wanted some clarity on that.




Slash
October 29, 2007



A MOVIE VERSION?


Apparently, there was some Hollywood interest in making a biopic of Slash's book:

The one thing I wouldn't have them do or allow them to do would be to actually do the book with the characters in it, the way that they are in real life as far as who they are. You know, if you wanted to take the story and make up some people (laughs) and change the names and all that kind of stuff, and make everybody fictional, it could be interesting. But if you were gonna try and go, 'Okay, this is Slash and this is Axl (Rose) and this is Slash's mom, and this character's gonna play Scott (Weiland),' no, I wouldn't allow it.



BOOK SIGNINGS


In December 2007, Slash would write a length comment on releasing a book and especially being at book signings:

The whole book signing experience was pretty memorable because it was a whole different medium - I was promoting something I'm not familiar with. I'd walk into a book store and meet an audience that was somewhat similar to the live audience that I perform for, but the demographic was all over the place. It went from six and seven year olds, all the way to 60 and 70 year olds, and everyone in between. When I'm standing on a stage in front of a room full of people, I don't really notice any 70 year olds, on the average. The cool thing about the signings was being in a position to actually stand toe to toe with people who are fans - or just curious. I got to look them in the eye, shake their hands, and sometimes even get names. It was a very different experience for me. It was personable and that was really cool. I was there with this piece of material, this book we just wrote and people were really into hearing what I had to say. It's different than putting out a record, which people listen to and then you see them when they show up at your gigs. At a book signing you're much more accessible, and your fans are right there, living and breathing in person. They are in front of you as individuals, not just as crowd you see from a stage.

I knew it was going to be different at the very first signing, at Barnes and Noble in New York City. I had taped Letterman just before it and was wearing a jacket and button down shirt for the show, so at the signing I took off my jacket and was there in my shirt, starting off this whole thing. This girl came up to the table and kind of looked me over and just said, "Slash, this is way too conservative for you." It dawned on me right then what a different element I was in.

All of the signings were fun but the best for me, the one where I was the most comfortable was the one at the Whiskey a Go-Go. We had a bar, and loud music was playing; it was a club environment and there was some jamming and stuff later that night. And it was in LA. I got up and played at that one, but the one that was most like an actual show was the one at the Mall of America in Minneapolis. I was actually on a stage - they built one stage in the atrium there in the biggest mall in America - hence the name. Unlike other places where people were lined up outside the store, they were lined up in front of the stage, like a crowd at a gig, as I sat up there signing books.

I felt sort of naked out there at the table at all of the signings without the backdrop of my band and crew - my gang. I was there with a bunch of people who work in the bookstore and I was in their store, trying to get away with smoking cigarettes. And sober. It was definitely a little bit different. The pressure was really on me to hold up my end of the bargain which was to be able to accept my audience. It was cool to do it; it was almost cathartic in a way. I wasn't totally sure what to expect, just being out there, meeting fans in this way. I have to say that everybody was genuinely really nice. I wasn't expecting anything bad, but I wasn't sure what they would be like. When you're just sitting there signing books at a table, it's possible that somebody can just walk right up you and go "You're a fucking asshole!" Doing a signing is like being the host of a big dinner party with a bunch of people you've never met. You just don't know what's gonna happen. But everybody was really really nice - endearing is the best word I can think of. They were full of compliments, and I don't take compliments that well, but it was really, really nice. Young and old, everyone was very cool, and we did signings for 800-1000 people per event. A lot of people brought stuff they wanted signed, like guitars, Guitar Hero controllers, pictures, all kinds of gifts. The thing was, I'd need to get into a whirlwind pace of signing just to get through that many books in the time period available - some people bought upwards of 40 books a piece that I had to sign one after the other with no break. In that type of situation, all you can do is sign it. Then I'd look someone in the eye as they'd try to hand me something that clearly meant something to them, and ask me, "Can you please just sign this? Please?" I really couldn't, because if I did one, I'd have to do every one. So what ended up happening was that I'd tell them to wait around until the end and I'd sign it later. I'd go outside and sign all of that in the parking lot for another hour or however long it took.

Who would have thought, though? I've never released a book, I've never been to a signing and outside of the library or a book store, knew nothing about books or publishing in general. I'd read them and that's it. I never thought about what goes into writing them or editing them or producing them in general. When we wrote this I thought it was only going to go out to those Guns N' Roses fans who cared - and I knew there were those - and no one else. I had no idea that we'd get a turnout like this, from the many different types of readers to the huge number of readers. I had no idea that the book we wrote would appeal to enough people to get it on top of the New York Times Bestseller list for over a month straight. I had no idea that what we were dong was working toward something that would become this big. Who knows... maybe that's why it's cool.

[...] in general, I really liked promoting the book. You get a chance to really get close to your fans. I mean, we had kids from 6 years old all the way up to people in their 60s [at book signings]. The book crowd is different than the record buying crowds, but all in all it was a good experience.



REACTIONS TO THE BOOK


His biography is funny because it showed me that, OK, this is what he was thinking. I mean, none of us can remember how it really went down. There were a lot of points where we were just too fucked up. People tell me stuff I did that I have no recollection of, and so, he had to piece it together…it was funny this process with him and the guy who actually wrote it, I can’t remember his name, I get calls all the time ‘So this time when this happened when this guy was there…’ and I’m not sure. It would be guesses as to what actually happened.

I have not read it. I listened to something about it on the radio the other day and it sounded cool to me.



CONTROVERSIES


The controversy regarding Todd Crew's death is discussed in an earlier chapter.

Slash would also be accused of encouraging drug use in his book, to which he replied:

I've been told more explicit, negative stuff about drugs (than is in my book) and I still did them. If you're smart, you'll see where it (the book) starts and where it ends up and you'll go, 'It seems like a pain in the ass.' At the same time, there was a lot of fun. I don't have any regrets about it.


Del James would speak about the book and refer to it as revisionist history:

Slash and Nikki Sixx and countless others, their biographies are revisionist history, man. It's how they want their story to be remembered but not the way it actually occurred. That's the power that comes with the pen. Whoever is telling the story, if enough people read and believe something and there is no argument to the contrary, then it becomes accepted as gospel. Thieves, infidels, and compulsive liars somehow become noble and charming if they choose their words cleverly. Mediocre bands become great musicians.


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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:53 am

NOVEMBER 20, 2007
AXL IS FEATURED ON SEBASTIAN BACH'S 'ANGEL DOWN'


On November 20, 2007, Axl would be featured on the songs Back in the Saddle, (Love is a) Bitchslap and Stuck Inside from Sebastian Bach's new album Angel Down.

Bas asked me to sing on his new record, "Angel Down," and I agreed and came down to his studio where he played me the tracks. I really liked the title/opening track, "Angel Down," but I didn't feel that it would be right to be on that one, although, of course, it would've been cool because it's a great rip-your-head-off track!!

Since this session was rather a more fun atmosphere, the tracks I sang on kind of showed themselves and were also done out of curiosity on the part of Bas, myself, and his producer, Roy Z, just to see if my involvement brought something that worked for the tracks.

Bas really wanted me on "Bitchslap," and I got to try my own ideas on it. We're not saying much about the second track, as it may be taken a bit further, and when Bas played the third track, "Stuck Inside," he suggested a kind of call-and-answer part. They allowed me the freedom to write my own words and melodies, and although it's only a couple of lines, it really felt great. The song has such a mean riff, and Bas' guys were so supportive in so many ways on tour and fun to hang with, that it was great to be a part of something of theirs and I think it really came out strong.

For me, the three songs together are a good package. They are all different, with different approaches and styles from each other and from material I have on the upcoming Guns N’ Roses record. For me, the timing couldn’t be better and I’m quite surprised to be on one song, let alone three!!!

Bas really knew where he saw my involvement on his album and had different options in mind. He knew what seemed obvious, what would be fun, what would work for his album and what he felt I would like. I really liked the energy of the tracks and since I'm rarely asked to do anything I'd actually enjoy or be glad to be a part of, I'm more than grateful for the opportunity and hope the fans get a kick out of it as well.


Bach would explain how the collaboration came to be:

Basically, the collaboration with me and Axl started when he asked me last December to sing on… I was at his house and he was playing me the new "Chinese Democracy" album — actually, there's more than one; there's, like, four — but he was playing a song called "Sorry", which is a very heavy, grinding kind of riff and we were partying and stuff and I started singing a high harmony on the chorus of this song and he flipped out, and he goes, "That sounds great." He goes, "I want you to sing that on the record." So in January, I went to Electric Lady [studios in New York City], and I sang the chorus of this song "Sorry", and it came out really, really amazing. So now that I'm finishing my record, just for the fun of it, when I got to L.A., I just texted Axl, I go, "Hey, dude, when are you gonna come and sing on my record?" I was just joking. [Laughs] I didn't think he would do that. But he never ceases to amaze me. And his response was, "When? Where? What time? Where is the studio? What time do you want me there?" I was, like, "You've gotta be fucking kidding me." I go, "Pinch me, I'm dreaming." So he came down on Tuesday night, I think, or Wednesday, and he sang… He sings two songs on the record. I don't wanna say which songs, really — I don't know if I should or not — but he sings two songs.

We've done about 80 shows with Guns N' Roses all over the world. At Christmas we did three nights at Universal Ampitheater in Hollywood... Axl had a Christmas party, we were playing pool. He played 'Chinese Democracy', a song called 'Sorry' came on and I started singing a harmony over top of the chorus. Axl loved that and booked studio time at Electric Lady in New York the next week, and I sang on 'Chinese Democracy'. So then, I was being silly and texted Axl, 'When are you going to sing on my record?' and he texted back, just one word, 'When' ... He sang three songs on my record.

I just texted Axl at LAX just walking around baggage claim and I go, 'Hey, when are you going to sing on my record?' Like some snot-nosed kid, totally joking around. Then one word comes on my phone, 'When?' I go 'Get the...' I just remember stopping dead in my tracks and going 'No, no he's not going to sing on my album, there's no way. And I go 'We're in the studio Monday, 1 till 5 in the morning' and he goes ' What's the address?' He doesn't let me down, man, and he doesn't mess around. He's very direct and he's very intense and he doesn't say anything he doesn't mean.

I'm so happy with the record and to have him on it as well is just mind-blowing. I could not thank him enough. He's helped me more than anybody else in rock, he's helped me. With touring and back in Skid Row, we opened the Use Your Illusion Tour and that's the way he is. He just helps out. He helps me out.




Bach and Axl in the studio



Bach was very excited:

And I am the luckiest guy in the world, for him to come and put his voice on my record. And then I asked him yesterday, "Can I talk about this and everything?" And he was like, "Yes." He goes, "Tell everybody, tell the whole fucking world." I'm like, "Cool. OK." [Laughs] [...] For him to do that is an outrageous thing of friendship and… for once, I'm at a loss for words. [Laughs] I really can't believe that I get to have him on a record. As a rock fan… you know, I'm a fan of his voice, big time. And he's coming in like a razorblade on this shit — screaming, dude. [Laughs]

We can’t forget Axl Rose! I’m tripping over my words because I’m so excited! Axl sings lead on three of the songs and people have to be fucking excited about that! I know I am!

I can't (same one as above deleted) believe it. I just can't (again) believe that Axl (ditto) Rose is singing on my record. Not just one song, either. He's singing on three songs, dude. He's the best. He's just the best.

Yeah, it’s an incredible thing. The world has been waiting for Chinese Democracy for a good 15 years and if you want to get a taste of what Axl actually sounds like as of last year, then get Angel Down because he’s on three songs. He sounds incredible! I just can’t believe that in the history of rock he would choose to collaborate on my album.
With The Band, May 12, 2008



And talk about Axl's vocals:

He sings on that [=Bitchslap], yes, and it's unbelievable — his voice is like a razor; it just really cuts, and it's an amazing thing for me. It's kind of like a duet — he's not just in the background, it's more of a prominent sound.

[Axl] sings three songs on "Angel Down" with "Love is a Bitch Slap", "Stuck Inside", and "Back in the Saddle". He helped out Skid Row back in the old days in 1991 when he took us out on the "Use Your Illusion" tour and now he took my solo band out in 2006-2007 and took us around the world. I could never ever repay him for how much he has helped me out. The fact that everyone was waiting for him to put out "Chinese Democracy" and he comes out and makes his return on Sebastian Bach's solo album; think of how cool that is for us as a band. We are really proud of this CD. When we put out this CD and you stick it in and hear Axl Rose screaming at the top of his lungs, that is kind of cool to have!
Mouth4Music, July 2, 2008


And Stuck Inside:

And there's actually another song that he wants to sing on called "Stuck Inside" that he loves, and I'm gonna get him a CD of that, so he might be on three [songs], but right now he's on two.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:53 am

CONFLICTS IN THE BAND? BUMBLEFOOT


It would later be suggested that Bumblefoot received a cold shoulder when he joined the band in 2006 [insert sources], but in early interviews Bumblefoot would not reveal anything:

[Being asked what musicians he would like to play with]: Already playing with them all Smile

You mean, someone I met personnaly that impressed me with all around, their playing their personality, that I would like to hang out with and play with again?

Same as above, already playing with them Smile


He would also discuss spending time with Frank and Chris:

Me and Frank were just laying some drum and guitar tracks to a song for this rapper, and we’re doing it at my studio. [...] I was just over Frank’s house for a barbecue, hanging out, enjoying ourselves. And then yesterday and today we were in my studio recording stuff (no, not for Guns N’ Roses), and while we’re doing that we might make a call to Chris Pitman to say hello and see how he’s doing. It's great.

Frank and I get together whenever we can.

Me, I'm in touch almost daily with members of the band and crew, we hang when we can. I see Frank most often because we live near each other on the East Coast. But we all have phones, email, we're in touch pretty often.


But when specifically asked if he enjoy being a member of Guns N' Roses, Bumblefoot would indicate there had been some friction:

No, I hate them! (Laughs as he’s obviously joking) It’s been well over a year now, and we’ve become better friends, and I’m just more happy to see them every time we get together.


When asked if it had been difficult for him to adjust to being in Guns N' Roses, Bumblefoot would suggest he had been a pain in the ass to the band:

If anything, I’ve been a pain in their ass – not the other way around. I’m used to being a solo artist. I tend to be quite open about things, say things I shouldn’t say and go places I shouldn’t go. Now, of course, I’m working with people who might not want their business spoken about. I try to be respectful of that, but also talk to other people like a real person.


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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:53 am

TALKING ABOUT WHAT IS IN THE FUTURE FOR GUNS N' ROSES


(Laughs and sings) “Where do we go now…” I can not talk about future plans or anything like that. Those things need to come out when the time is right and everything is confirmed, so… That question I cannot answer. That question will be answered, though, in time, by the right people, and I’m looking forward to things coming up.

I think whatever is going to happen is meant to happen, and you can’t spend time wishing for something else, when it’s not possible. You have to flow with life, and whatever happens, you've got to accept it and say “this is what was meant to be”. If that makes me optimistic, then yeah, I’m optimistic! It’s basically just accepting that which we cannot change.


In June 2008, Sebastian Bach would talk about the large amount of material that Guns N' Roses has produced ("at least four albums' worth"):

[Axl]’s like the George Lucas of rock. I know for a fact it’s not him saying, ‘Let’s wait and work on [Chinese Democracy] some more. He has a whole new business team. Irving Azoff is in control, along with Andy Gould. They are trying to figure out the best way to put the music out.


And in November, just before the release of the record, Chris would talk about the amount of material they had and that Axl was focused on looking forward:

[...] there's a whole wealth of material. I mean 10 years, just hundreds and hundreds of songs, ideas and stuff, and it was really hard to conceptualize down to what would work together and that was Axl's thing, he made that part happen and, you know, to this day we're still working on what's coming up next, and, you know, pushing forward with things. You know, the Chinese thing, okay cool, it's done, let's move on to the next thing. And it's just moving upwards and his spirit is to just always, you know, to express himself he hasn't had to go back to 1987 or whatever yet, you know, for nostalgia's sake, but he very well could.



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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:53 am

NOVEMBER 24-27, 2007
THE CORRAL FIRE ALMOST TAKES AXL'S HOME


In November 2007, a wildfire would ravage areas of Malibu and eventually burn down 49 homes and damage 27 others [Reuters, November 25, 2007]. Axl's home was surrounded by the fires but eventually spared [KCAL-TV/Blabbermouth, November 25, 2007] and Beta would explain how Axl had tried to fight the flames:

He helped a lot. He did a lot. He was with the hose everywhere. Then the firetruck came in and locked us. So then they told us, 'Just close the garage doors and just go back in. There's nothing you can do,' because it was like an inferno outside.




View from downtown Malibu
Afternoon of November 24



One of Axl's neigbours would talk about Axl and Beta saving their home from the flames:

We just got home. We were in Santa Barbara for our anniversary — my husband and I had our 24th anniversary — and our daughter called us at 5 o'clock in the morning. I heard the words 'fire' and 'evacuation,' and I immediately knew, 'cause I've lived here for so long that I know what that means. And we tried to come back here, but, this fire was roaring in Malibu and, of course, they wouldn't let us in. So our children went to a friend's house in Beverly Hills and waited for us. We were there until this morning 'cause they didn't let us back in — it was too dangerous to be up here. [...] And the reason I did [know the house was ok] is that we have a neighbor that is just — and I hope it's OK to say his name — we have Axl Rose as our neighbor, and him and Beta [Lebeis], his manager, they saved our house together with the firefighters. Because they pushed the gate open and took the hoses that were lying around and they just hosed down whatever fire there was in the trees, in the palm trees, and they saved our house, they literally saved our house — I mean, they literally saved our house. And my husband was in contact with Beta, but they didn't let us up, so we couldn't do anything, we just had to surrender and pray and hope. [...] it was because of them and that one firefighter — I mean, all the firefighters, but there was one in particular; I forgot his name now, 'cause I'm still a little nervous. Yeah, they saved our house. We're just blessed. [...] We've been here for 13 years, so we've been through many fires, but this was really the worst. The '96 fire was bad, because it was also in the Corral Canyon and then came here, but this one, it was just [that] the winds were so bad — I mean, they were just roaring through the canyon. And it was so hot. We're very lucky. We're just so… I mean, I feel so blessed, I can't tell you. [...] We have good neighbors.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:54 am

FEBRUARY, 2008
PRE-RELEASE NEGOTIATIONS


In February 2008, it would be reported that Axl was said to be in negotiations with the record label for more money before the album's release [The Pulse of Radio/Blabbermouth, February 6, 2008].

For an article released in March 2008, Beta Lebeis would claim the album had been finished last year and confirm that they were now negotiating with the record company:

The album was finished before Christmas, but everyone knows that. We’re in negotiations now with the record company…

This album is Axl’s life. It’s his dime. Everything is invested in this album. So for people to say, ‘Oh Axl, just put it out’ – that’s not the way it is. I wish it was just dependent on us, but it isn’t. And one day he will tell the story…


In April, All Your TV would shed light on the negotiations:

According to sources at Geffen (Rose's music label) a version of "Chinese Democracy" has been finished and delivered to the label. But there are still outstanding issues between the singer and the label, not the least of which is a recording cost for the project which (depending on who you believe), has reached between $11 and $15 million. Another stickler is the digital rights for the tracks, along with some proposed "bonus" tracks Geffen would like to release digitally.


Geffen would also confirm the album had been delivered and that they were in the process of coming to an agreement with Axl over its release [Kerrang! April 16, 2008].

Bumblefoot would confirm the negotiations a couple of months later when asked when the album would be released:

How can you not ask that question? It’s like, “Doesn’t anyone notice that elephant in the room?!” We have new management and they are good guys, and it’s in negotiations.


In June, Sebastian Bach would say he doesn't think Axl is the one holding up the release:

I don't think Axl is the person that is holding up the release... The music has been done for a long time and it's incredible, epic. He has over four albums of material finished... It's in the hands of the businessmen now.
Dagbladet (via Blabbermouth), June 2, 2008


In August Bumblefoot would again comment on the status of the release:

The official word is that it’s ‘in negotiation’. Thing are going well, and I won’t make further comment as it can – and will be – used against me on the internet. [...] I hear that question in my sleep, all the time, asked by a thousand voices. How can I respond the right way? The album will come out when all the pieces are in place, when it’s best for the fans, the band… everybody. I have complete faith in our new management [Irving Azoff and Andy Gould] making all those pieces fit.


In November, Gary Arnold, Best Buy's senior entertainment officer, would state that he had started negotiating for the exclusivity to sell Chinese Democracy more than a year ago, well before Irving Azoff and Andy Gould became managers [Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2008].
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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:54 am

FEBRUARY 2008
MARC CANTER RELEASES RECKLESS LIFE


This is a very special project and nothing like this has ever been done for any band. This is the birth of the band. The first 50 gigs that Guns N Roses did on the Sunset Strip have been well documented in this book.

My goal here is to let everybody that likes this band – or even if you don’t like the band – see the making of one of the greatest records ever made.

It’s a labor of love and I’m proud of it. I think I made a pretty good mark and hopefully all Guns N’ Roses fans will have it when they finally find out that it exists.

__________________________________________

In 2008, Marc Canter, longtime friend of Guns N' Roses, would release Reckless Life: Guns N' Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction, a book he had started working on already in 1993:

In 1993 I told Axl that I wanted to put out a Guns N’ Roses book about the club days and he was like “Yeah, that would be a great idea.” So I worked 5 hours a day for 15 months putting together the manuscript with all the photos laid out so that it would look real attractive to the publishers. When it was done the band was sort of breaking up and there was no record in site and my agent wanted too much money from the publishers. I just wanted to get this out to the fans to share with them what I was lucky enough to witness. So after a year and a half my agent sent me back the book and said “If the band ever puts out a record, call me.” So it sat in my closet for years.

Two things happened in 2006. Axl played me Chinese Democracy in August and he told me it should be out by November and just by chance I found Jason Porath in September. He was working for enhanced books and he was calling me to see if Canter’s Deli wanted to place an ad on their site because Canter’s was in a book called American Great Delis that had been enhanced, meaning there are audio and video extras for the online part of the book. I asked Jason to tell me more about Enhanced Books and then I told him that I had put together a GN’R book and that I recorded all the shows and this would be a perfect project when I get ready to put out my book someday. A date was set for Chinese Democracy to come out for March 2007. Jason said he wanted to see what I had put together and that maybe he could help me get it out.

Six weeks later Jason was in town with Steven Slomkowski the guy who ended up doing the design for Reckless Road. They looked at my stuff and liked what they saw. I knew these were the right people to work with and now has to be the time to get this project rolling again. We put together a deal for the book to come out in the fall of 2007. I felt that would be a good time for the book to be out, 6 months after Axl puts out his new record.

I started this project in 1994 and it took me 15 months, working five hours a day. My agent wanted too much money for the book, and at the time, the band was falling apart, so nobody wanted to give me a reasonable deal. The book sat in my closet for years. Then, in 2006, I discovered Enhanced Books and saw what they were doing. Basically, they cross books with the Internet, offering buyers a lot of on-line extras. I figured that the time was ripe to pull the project together again. I then spent nine more months finishing my work on it.

I documented the first 50 gigs they did then they basically took off on tour so I stopped documenting. I had it really for myself if nothing else cause it was just good stuff. I was an Aerosmith collector so I looked at this as being like an Aerosmith style band, so lets collect this now since these are my friends and it’s good. But when the band made it and after they did a world tour 5 years on the road or whatever, I realized that maybe I should put out a scrapbook of the club days. The world will want to see this. I worked on it 5 hours a day for about 15 months and I spent a lot of money getting everything just perfect, I didn’t use computers. I blew up the pictures to the size I wanted, I laid them out on art boards. I put text, transcribed the shows, I just wanted it to be perfect and by the time I was done the band kind of fell apart. My agent wanted too much money for it from the publishers and they didn’t want to pay that kind of money. I was told if they ever put a record out maybe we’d get it published and it just kind of sat in my closet. I actually, at one point, tried to self publish it. I started selling off my magazine collection. I had over 2000 Rolling Stones, Circus, and Hit Parade magazines from the 60’s and 70’s. I stared saving that money and realized it wasn’t going to work. I didn’t have enough money, so I ended up just buying baseball cards, but valuable ones with that money and I just shelved it. I figured one day, we’ll see. In 2006 I ran into the people from Enhanced Books by accident because Canters was in a book called ‘Americas Great Delis’ and that’s how I found out about Enhanced Books and what they were doing because they came here to interview us for the extras online. That’s when it all clicked on what we can do. I realized the time was right, I found some good people. and it looked like we could make a cool project. I figured now would be the best time cause Guns N’ Roses was pretty relevant at the time. Why not now?


Talking about the interviews done for the book:

There were like 24 people interviewed for the book. My goal was to have all the band members look at the book and see what they might remember from the gigs. Jason, my co-author, wanted to interview the band to add more story to the project.

I started thinking that everyone who was around and had something to do with the band should have something interesting to say. So, I made a list of people. Ex-girlfriends, roadies, strippers, record company people, the producers and mixers that worked on the record, friends and old band members from all the bands before GNR.

Jason interviewed them and threaded their stories throughout the book, where they would best fit. The things that I added were mixed in with all the gigs and Jason pulled them out and mixed them in with all the others' interviews.

Between the gigs there are quotes about different subjects. Also, because I recorded all the gigs, the transcriptions from the shows are all in the book. I think what's great about this book is that it's enhanced. That means, when you buy the book there is a code on the first page, you go to enhancedbooks.com and you use that code to see the whole book online. There, readers will be able to listen to audio clips from the gigs. You can hear clips during the time when they played the songs for the first time. There are also over 200 extra photos that didn't make it into the book, as well as video interviews from the band and people that helped make the book.

Well, see, originally I just wanted the band to look at the book and see what they could remember from those gigs that I might not remember or something that happened around the time. Jason, my co author, really wanted to dig a little deeper. He didn’t really care about the shows, he wanted to know what drove them to move to Los Angeles, why were they wiling to live on the streets, how did it feel to be hungry, a little bit more emotion on it. Not digging for dirt but just digging for more, why, why why… Then I started thinking that we should really interview the roadies (Mark points to Ron Schneider who is sitting in the next booth), the ex band members, the friends, the stripper’s, the ex girlfriend’s, the record company people that signed them like Tom Zutadut, Mike Clink, the guys that mixed the record, failed producers, anybody that was there and might have something to say. The more the merry. We did it and it got really interesting. Jason took all the information that I had in with the shows pulled it out and mixed it in with everyone else’s and threaded it through the book like chat boards. Unfortunately, I lost some things that were in those shows that didn’t have a place in the chat boards but at some point I’ll get it online as extra information. It’s just useless info but not useless to a fan. We ended up talking to like 26 people, so now you got 26 views on how it all went down, and some of it is actually inaccurate but that’s what they remember. Actually, I had a fight with Jason about that because Dezi, who was Izzy’s ex girlfriend, she used to dance to ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ on stage, Axl pretty much ended that, and she said that Axl ended it because Axl got jealous cause she was stealing all the attention cause sex sells, and whatever, but the truth of the matter is Axl ended her because she was dealing heroin and she wasn’t a good influence on some of the members of the band. Axl had seen what it was doing to some of the people. Truth is, if Dezi was really helping, Axl would want two Dezi’s cause that’s what Axl is, he wants a big production, so it was exactly the opposite but she got it in there. I would have cut it out but Jason wouldn’t let me and that’s that.




Reckless Road, by Marc Canter



Discussing the pictures in the book and the amount of videos and audio tapes he has:

I took photos at all the shows starting with Slash in 1982. I always tape recorded all the shows. When video recorders came out I started video taping and my friend Jack Lue took photos while I was doing video. I would keep everything that meant something from the gigs like the tickets and flyers and ads and clippings from the local papers. Sometimes a set list or some drawings that were laying around. Some of the videos made it out there as a bootleg. I did manage to keep the audio shows to myself.

Marc was always good at taking pictures. He always kept a lot of pictures. As we got older, Marc turned into a big fan of Aerosmith, and he got into collecting their magazine interviews and photos and any kind of rarities he could find. So I guess at one point he started to put a scrapbook together of stuff that I was dong when I started putting bands together. He always had a camera around. Marc has been working on the peripheral forever and I just never really paid much attention to it because he just always kept shots and kept scrapbooks of everything. It's Marc's nature and it's great. I wish I were like that. I would have a clearer memory of my past.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007

But anyway, back to the photos, yeah, my friend Jack Lue started taking pictures before I did and he would sneak his camera into concerts. Jack always did that and what happened was, to be honest with you, Eddie Van Halen was going to play at the Roxy and Jack Lue couldn’t make that gig so he gave me his camera, showed me how to use it and said, “Take pictures.” So I took pictures and I had fun and when I got them back, I was freaked like, “Whoa, these are really cool.”

From that point on I started taking pictures at every concert we went to. That was in 1982. Right around that same time was when Slash was playing gigs everywhere. And now that I knew how to shoot, and I saw that it works, of course I was going to shoot him. I was already tape-recording his shows. Now I had a tape, and photos and the flyer. So I just kind of kept everything because I saw something that was special. If you don’t tape-record it then it’s just gone. After awhile we met Axl and then it was like, wait a minute, now there’s not only Axl, there’s Izzy, Steven and Duff… there’s like five Jedis working together. It wasn’t just Slash anymore. Now it was just like all of them together made a chemistry. Now, I was not only documenting Slash, but I was documenting...

Well, I started pictures in 1982. My friend Jack Lou who takes 30% of the photos that are in ‘Reckless Road’ was shooting all of the bands that were coming through Los Angeles. Eddie Van Halen was gonna be at the Roxy performing with Alan Holdsworth who was his idol. Nobody really knew about it but we heard about it and Jack wasn’t able to make it to that gig, he had to work, so he gave me his camera, showed me basically how to load the film and told me what to do. I snuck it in, took some pictures. and I was really happy with the results. I realized I could do this… My sister had a canon 81 that she wasn’t using so I figured oh, it was sort of like Jack’s, he had a Olympus, so I kinda took her camera and a week later it was Tidus Sloan, Slash’s first band, at Fairfax high school. So I shot off a roll of film and that went well and I was off and running.

First draft was 380 pages almost 2000 images and now it’s 340 pages. The manuscript I turned in was about 280 pages and they actually brought it up to 347 by using less images, they just made the images larger. I had probably 1400 images that I turned in on the manuscript on the book and they ended up using about 1000. Then there are 200 extra images online.


And on whether there had been any resistance from GN'R band members and would imply that Axl was not interested in the release:

When Axl first saw my manuscript he was very impressed with the work I did, and while looking at it he remembered some things about the shows that got incorporated into the next draft of the book. Even though Reckless Road documents the birth of as special as the birth of Guns N’ Roses, which is very important to all the fans, Axl is now focusing on Chinese Democracy so this old stuff doesn’t mean that much to him right now. Slash said “Reckless Road is the best rock-n-roll book I have ever seen. I am amazed that Marc turned these casual, candid photos into this book. I’m really impressed.” Duff and Steven also helped out for the book and thought it was great that I was doing this. When I called Izzy and told him what I was doing and he thought it was a cool project, but never made it over to look at it. I did see Izzy at a event a few months later and he asked me “How did it all work out with the book?”


When asked if a sequel was in the works, Canter would deny this and state that only Del James would be in a position to make such a book:

No, the only person who would be able to do that would be Del James. He is also a friend of the band and still works with them now. He was the one documenting where I left off.


Slash, commenting on the book:

It’s great. It’s probably the best rock and roll coffee table book I’ve ever seen.

When I was a kid, for any of my favorite bands, you couldn't find something that was behind-the-scenes. When Led Zeppelin first came out, they had their publicity shots. No one either allowed it or no one cared enough to get all the behind-the-scenes footage of their first rehearsals or this, that or the other thing. It's the same for a lot of my favorite bands. I don't think anybody's got a pictorial history that comprehensive of when a band first started as we do with Reckless Road. So it's really cool.

Mark is a really close friend of mine from way back in the 5th grade and when I first started playing guitar, he used to just bring his camera. He used to shoot a lot of rock concerts. He used to sneak cameras in and shoot from Judas Priest to Aerosmith and whoever else you can think of. So, he's pretty handy with a camera.

When I first started in my first band and what not, he used to always come and take pictures and physically record the shows. When Guns first started, I guess he saw something in Guns that we, maybe, didn't necessarily see at the time. But, he really thought it was gonna go somewhere.

He started shooting all the shows, recording all the shows and never missed one. Really, for the whole time that we were a club band up, until the point where we got signed. So, this book is really, really candid stuff from all these different dates, backstage and some other casual stuff.

But, it's the kind of pictorial history that most bands don't have because they either weren't fortunate enough to have somebody that saw more in them than the band itself saw or, you know, just having somebody around with a 35mm on a regular basis. But, it's really a cool, cool book. It's probably the coolest rock and roll table book I've seen in a long time.


Adriana Smith would talk about being interviewed for the book:

I hadn't seen Marc Canter in twenty years and no one had seen those pictures in twenty years. I got to reunite with Steven (Adler) and Slash, who I have kept in contact with on and off throughout the years. I got to see my friends Ron Schneider and Del James. The doors were already open from the past but it definitely reconnected us all. It was awesome!
Live Metal, December 15, 2008


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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:54 am

MARCH 25, 2008
DR PEPPER PROMISES FREE COLA IF THE ALBUM IS RELEASED IN 2008


In March 2008, Dr Pepper would launch a marketing campaign in which they would offer a free soda to "everyone in America, except estranged GNR guitarists Slash and Buckethead" if the album is released in 2008:

PLANO, Texas, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Tired of a world in which Americans idolize wannabe singers and musicals about high schoolers pass as rock 'n roll music, Dr Pepper is encouraging (ok, begging) Axl Rose to finally release his 17-year-in-the-making belabored masterpiece, Chinese Democracy, in 2008.

In an unprecedented show of solidarity with Axl, everyone in America, except estranged GNR guitarists Slash and Buckethead, will receive a free can of Dr Pepper if the album ships some time -- anytime! -- in 2008. Dr Pepper supports Axl, and fully understands that sometimes you have to make it through the jungle before you get it right.

"It took a little patience to perfect Dr Pepper's special mix of 23 ingredients, which our fans have come to know and love," said Jaxie Alt, director of marketing for Dr Pepper. "So we completely understand and empathize with Axl's quest for perfection -- for something more than the average album. We know once it's released, people will refer to it as "Dr Pepper for the ears" because it will be such a refreshing blend of rich, bold sounds -- an instant classic."


In connection with the ad campaign, Dr Pepper would launch the blog "Chinese Democracy When" http://chinesedemocracywhen.blogspot.com/.

Axl quickly responded to the campaign:

We are surprised and very happy to have the support of Dr. Pepper with our album Chinese Democracy as for us this came totally out of the blue. If there is any involvement with this promotion by our record company or others we are unaware of such at this time. And as some of Buckethead's performances are on our album I'll share my Dr. Pepper with him.


Slash reacting to the campaign:

Yeah, someone sent me a text about that at 3am last night. I thought, "What kind of left-field shit is that?" It's pretty funny, actually. I guess Buckethead and I will just have to make do with Coca-Cola.


GN'R Daily would conduct an interview with Greg Artkop, Director of Corporate Communications for Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, the company that owns Dr Pepper [GN'R Daily, March 31, 2008]. When asked how the campaign came about, Artkop responded:

Dr Pepper believes the world needs more GN'R. We wanted to do our part to get Chinese Democracy out of the studio and into our iPods.


Commenting on Axl's quick response to the campaign press release:

We were extremely pleased that Axl responded so quickly -- and favorably -- to our offer. I guess we'll have to expand to include a Dr Pepper for Buckethead. That was an interesting and unexpected bonus!


When asked about the mechanics of distributing free colas to everybody:

If the album is released in 2008, everyone will have the opportunity to download a coupon for a free Dr Pepper from our website.


Artkop would also reveal that the band's management had been surprised by the campaign:

We heard from GNR management regarding the challenge. They were surprised about the offer but supportive of our efforts as you can tell from Axl's response.


With a rumoured release date of November 23, Tony Jacobs, Dr Pepper VP of marketing, commented:

We're waiting to hear about 'Chinese Democracy' just like all the other GNR fans. But if the rumors are true, we're putting the Dr Pepper on ice.



THE LOGISTICS OF DELIVERING THE SODAS


Then a few days later, Dr Pepper would state that the company's plan was to distribute free cans through some sort of an online coupon system [MTV News, October 16, 2008]. According to a company spokesperson:

People will go on Dr Pepper's Web site and we will send them a coupon for a free one. It's going to be real easy.


Some days later, they would release a statement on how the sodas would be given out:

Don't cry, Guns N' Roses fans. The agonizing wait for the 17 years-in-the-making masterpiece Chinese Democracy will finally be over (fingers crossed) on Nov. 23, 2008. Sure, there have been more rumored release dates than the 23 flavors of Dr Pepper, but if Chinese Democracy hits stores as announced today, it's going to be so easy, easy for every American to get a free Dr Pepper as promised.

"We never thought this day would come," said Tony Jacobs, vice president of marketing for Dr Pepper. "But now that it's here all we can say is: The Dr Pepper's on us."

Dr Pepper is ready to give out free soda coupons to every American when the album releases on Nov. 23, 2008. If you're out to get a free Dr Pepper just follow these simple steps:

HOW TO GET YOUR FREE DR PEPPER

1. On the Nov. 23, 2008 release date, go to www.drpepper.com
2. Register your information to receive a coupon for one free 20-oz. Dr Pepper.
3. When your coupon arrives, redeem it wherever Dr Pepper is sold.
4. Drink your Dr Pepper slowly to experience all 23 flavors. Dr's orders.

Coupons will be available for 24 hours, starting at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 23, 2008. Allow 4-6 weeks for coupon to arrive. Coupons will expire on Feb. 28, 2009. Limit one coupon per person. Full terms and conditions available at www.drpepper.com .


Then on November 23, the traffic to Dr Pepper's website was so heavy that the server crashed resulting in Dr Pepper extending the offer until 6pm the following day [Los Angeles Times, November 23].

Everyone in America* has until 6 PM EST on Monday, November 24 to get a free 20 oz. Dr Pepper

PLANO, Texas -- Based on tremendous consumer response, Dr Pepper is extending its offer for a free Dr Pepper until 6 PM EST on Monday, November 24.

"People are passionate about Dr Pepper," said Tony Jacobs, vice president of marketing for Dr Pepper. "The response has been greater than anticipated and we want to do everything we can to ensure Dr Pepper fans get their free coupon. As a result, we've extended the offer, increased our server capacity and added a toll-free number, 1-888-DRPEPPER, for consumers to call to request their Dr Pepper."

HOW TO GET YOUR FREE DR PEPPER

1. Go to http://www.drpepper.com/ or call 1-888-DRPEPPER (1-888-377-3773)

2. Register your information online or by phone to receive a coupon for one free 20-oz. Dr Pepper.

3. When your coupon arrives, redeem it wherever Dr Pepper is sold.

4. Drink your Dr Pepper slowly to experience all 23 flavors. Dr's orders.

Allow 4-6 weeks for coupon to arrive. Coupons will expire on Feb. 28, 2009. Limit one coupon per person. Full terms and conditions available at http://www.drpepper.com/.

* Guitarists Slash and Buckethead are not eligible for free soda


Being asked if he would be getting his free soda, Tommy responded:

Fuck, yeah! [laughs]. The funniest thing about that is someone told me if everyone in the country cashed in their Dr. Pepper coupons, it would cost them $160 million dollars. That would be a hysterical footnote on the release of this record, right there.



GUNS N' ROSES ATTACKS DR PEPPER


On November 26, Billboard would write about a letter sent from Guns N' Roses' and Axl's lawyer Alan Gutman to Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. president and CEO Larry Young the day before:

Gutman's letter makes clear his view that the original campaign was an "exploitation of my clients' legendary reputation and their eagerly awaited album" and "brazenly violated our clients' rights." He is also seeking an "appropriate payment... for the unauthorized use and abuse of their publicity and intellectual property rights," with the threat of further action if an acceptable offer is not made.

"Now is the time to clean up the mess," says Gutman.

Rose did not take any action when, in March, Dr Pepper put out a press release offering free soda to any American if the long-awaited Guns N' Roses album came out before the end of 2008. However, Rose has reacted to the news that fans have been unable to get their soda following the Nov. 23 release of "Chinese Democracy."

Dr Pepper's Web servers crashed under the demand for coupons that could be exchanged for free drinks. Dr Pepper extended the Nov. 23 promotion for an extra day, but the company's Web site was inaccessible for a substantial part of it.

"Dr Pepper was completely unprepared for the traffic to its site," says Gutman in the letter, describing the promotion as a "complete fiasco."

Gutman adds: "The entire point of your campaign has been to use public interest in Axl Rose and Guns N' Roses as a lure to increase consumer awareness of Dr Pepper." He further states that "mocking undertones" in the online promotional content represent a "raw and damaging commercial exploitation of our clients' rights," adding that the association is "even more damaging in light of your shoddy execution of your disingenuous giveaway offer."




Letter to Dr. Pepper



Dr Pepper would respond in a press release:

We are disappointed that GNR’s lawyers are turning a fun giveaway into a legal dispute. We simply commented on the delayed release of Chinese Democracy and openly encouraged the band to release it before the end of the year. Axl even expressed support for our efforts earlier in the year.

[...]

This was one of the largest responses we have ever received for a giveaway, and we’re happy we were able to satisfy the thirst of so many Dr Pepper fans. We wish Guns N’ Roses the best with their album.


Some days later Axl would be asked if he considered suing Dr Pepper:

Sure but the actions taken so far had nothing to do with me and I was taken off guard as I had specifically told our team who fucking cares rt now we have a record to deal with. My feelings are after their public response. It was cute. Maybe the guy who got it rolling originally meant well but it turned out sour and maybe it's just me but he seems like maybe he wants a bit too much attention so...


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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:54 am

MARCH 27, 2008
IRVING AZOFF AND ANDY GOULD TAKE OVER AS NEW MANAGERS


Guns N' Roses had been without a manager since Merck Mercuriadis left in December 2007, but in March 2008, Axl could reveal that a new management team was taking over:

I am very pleased to announce that Guns N' Roses and I are now represented by the management team of Irving Azoff and Andy Gould. We are very excited and look forward to working with them and hope our relationship proves beneficial for everyone, especially the fans.


Azoff was the chairman/CEO of Los Angeles-based Front Line Management Group and personally represented such artists as the Eagles, Christina Aguilera, Neil Diamond, Van Halen and Steely Dan [Billboard, March 28, 2008]. Azoff had also previously managed Velvet Revolver [Rolling Stone, March 28, 2008]. Gould, a former senior partner at the Firm, managed Rob Zombie, Static-X and Primus/Les Claypool [Billboard, March 28, 2008].

Azoff and Gould would comment in a joint statement:

Axl Rose and Guns N’ Roses is and will always be one of the most important recording and touring artists of our time, and one of the great rock ‘n’ roll voices for his generation. We are honored that Axl has placed his trust in us.

Irving Azoff / Andy Gould


Bumblefoot would later comment on the new managers:

We have new management and they are good guys [...]


Azoff describing Axl in March 2009:

Axl has been basically quiet, keeping out of the limelight for almost 15 years. People think they know him but they only really only know what has been said about him by questionable people. He is a good guy and often misunderstood — he is a professional who has worked very hard to build and maintain a high creative standard for Guns n’ Roses, which I support.



OCTOBER 23, 2008: TICKETMASTER ACQUIRES FRONTLINE MANAGEMENT;
AZOFF BECOMES THE NEW CEO OF TICKETMASTER


Ticketmaster (Nasdaq:TKTM), the world's leading ticketing company, today announced an agreement to acquire a controlling equity interest in Front Line Management Group Inc., one of the world's leading artist management companies. Ticketmaster also announced that Irving Azoff, founder and chief executive officer of Front Line, will become Chief Executive Officer of Ticketmaster.
Press Release from Ticketmaster, October 23, 2008


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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:55 am

APRIL 2008
A REALITY SERIES BASED ON THE EFFORTS TO RELEASE CHINESE DEMOCRACY? NO


In April 2008 it would be revealed that a "major music-oriented television channel" was "close, but not signed" [All Your TV, April 8, 2008]. According to All You TV:

The show, which would appear on a cable channel that asked not to be identified, would follow the troubled rocker as his continues his decade-long effort to release the Guns N' Roses project "Chinese Democracy." [...] The new (still untitled) reality show would follow Rose and his band as they prepare for release of the album. It would include behind-the-scenes rehearsal and studio footage, as well as interviews with a number of the participants. "There is a lot of footage to choose from," said a network source. "Some of it is incredibly personal and revealing about Axl's life."


Some days later, Del James would shoot down the rumour:

Despite rumors floating around the Internet, Guns N' Roses will not be appearing on any reality TV program to promote their forthcoming album, Chinese Democracy, or for any other reason.

The reality TV rumors started a little while ago and have taken on an Internet life of their own, but there is no truth to any of this.


Sebastian Bach would later comment on the idea of Axl in a reality series:

Another thing that I don’t know you’ll ever see is a Axl Rose reality show. When I see that shit, I laugh. Here’s the only other time that he got made at me. I had just finished shooting Supergroup for VH1. It was on TV in America while we were gallivanting across Europe. We had a beautiful dinner at some incredible Italian restaurant. We are sitting there and I go, ‘Dude, I just shot this reality show for VH1 and they paid me this amount of money, man. It was fucking easy. It was only like two weeks. It was hilarious. Axl, if they paid me this amount of money, they’d pay you like a million bucks for 10 days of some shit.’ He’s looking at me with this look on his face and he’s all quiet and he goes, ‘Sebastian, you don’t understand.’ I go, ‘What?’ He goes, ‘I will pay VH1 $2 million to leave me the fuck alone!‘ I would bet my life you won’t be seeing the Axl Rose reality TV show.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:55 am

2008-2016
BUMBLEFOOT'S PERSONAL LIFE


Talking about what being a member of Guns N' Roses had done to his personal life:

For a start, I dropped about 90lbs [around six stones]. I was a fat, sweaty, filthy bastard. You could’ve rolled me across the stage. But I’m healthy now. I also get the occasional death threat. None of that stalker-style stuff happened before, and it took some getting used to. It’s weird to be hated by someone you’ve never met before, for reasons that don’t make sense.

Well, let's just say the roller coaster has sped up. (Laughs) Gone through bigger turns, twists and ups and downs... everything's been much more intense since joining. So I think it's reflected a bit in the music, whether there's a little more energy or edginess to it, I think I've become a bit more energetic and edgy as a person. (Laughs)

Some of the biggest adjustments were not having to lug my own gear. That was the first thing. At the end of every GNR show, the first thing that I'd do was I'd grab my amp and start bringing it towards the back. All the crew members are like, "Let go of that. That's our job." So, I'm like, what am I supposed to do with myself? The gig isn't done until you throw your shit in the van or the car. (Laughs) So there was that kind of thing. You know, you're used to roughing it for 30 years, then suddenly it's made so easy, you're thinking what am I getting paid for? You mean just to perform? That's not enough. I need to break my back. I need to hurt myself. Jokingly of course, although it's partially true. You mean all I have to do is show up and play guitar? I don't have to go fight with the club owner for money? (Laughs)

It's just a totally different situation than anything I'd ever done before. Because it's the only time I've been in a band other than my own. There were situations where I was offered to play in other things and I turned it down, going back to when I was 17. But there's just something about this. A little voice in my head said check it out and see how it goes. Here we are three years later... actually it's five years later since we all first spoke and started making plans. Now 'Chinese Democracy' is done and out and hopefully we'll get on the road in the not too distant future and start playing the shit out of these songs.


Talking about his studio:

About five years ago I got an old house. I don’t live there, I just use the place to make a lot of noise and piss off the neighbours. When I got this house I started slowly renovating it and turning it into more of a studio than a house. That’s the Batcave, a place to get away from home and just have a place where there’s no internet, no phones, no cable, no TV, no anything. All you can do there is make music. And that’s where I go when I’m producing, if I’m working on my own stuff, whatever it is, that’s my Batcave.



GROWING AS A MUSICIAN


I'll never be satisfied. That's true of most guitar players. No matter how good you did that night, and you have someone come up to you and say man, you kicked ass that night! You'll be like, yeah, but I fucked up this one solo... I wasn't tight on this part... man, I've got to go practice more. Then you'll lock yourself in a room all depressed, starve yourself and play guitar for 10 hours. (Laughs) That never changes. And the day it does change, and you become complacent, is the day you start losing your shit.



DECEMBER 2008: BAREFOOT - THE ACOUSTIC EP


It's just about done. I just got to think of a name. I don't know. [laughing]  [...] And, rather than going on tour, I don't know what my schedule's going to be like, I knew that this moment, this Chinese moment, was coming up, so rather than making any plans and possibly needing to cancel, I figured I'd just better get back into the studio and just put out some more music while I have the chance. So I went back in and started doing acoustic versions of songs from Abnormal, from Normal, from the past records, and it came out really nice. It's such a different approach and it almost felt I was doing covers of my own music and having to rewrite and reinterpret parts of songs that normally would work for, you know, an electric guitar through an driven amp, now I had to find new way of making that part work on just a plain acoustic guitar. So it was almost rewriting parts of songs and coming up with variations and vocally it brought out a whole other side of things. It wasn't about the power, it was about the dynamics, the emotion. So I found myself really singing a lot differently. And I hope people like it. It was very fun... I wouldn't say challenging, it was just a.... something different and it was enjoyable. I hope you all like it. I'm hoping to have it out there and available by the middle of December. So we'll see what happens. If I can come up with a name.

There's not even drums on there, it's just a rhythm acoustic guitar, a lead acoustic guitar, vocals, and a bass in the background, and that's it. It's completely stripped down, naked, bare, so... not even raw, just skeletal, just... yeah. Really stripped, stripped down.

I'll tell you, it's something that I never did before. Yet, most of the time when I'm just noodling around on guitar, I'm on an acoustic, doing versions of whatever I hear. So it just seemed like something good to do. Plus, 'Chinese Democracy' was on its way towards coming out, and I didn't know what the schedule was going to be like... whether we were going to be touring, or what was going to be happening. I thought, let me just do this. Let me just start banging out some songs. It was great, because it was like doing cover versions of my own shit. (Laughs)

I was reinterpreting parts. Figuring out... okay, I've got this part that's all tapping, a high energy guitar part. How can I translate that to an acoustic instrument? I was just getting creative with it that way. Dynamically it was great. Vocally I didn't have to be so loud. I personally feel that it's the best thing I've ever done. The best guitar playing, the best singing and the best versions of the songs that I've ever done.

[...]

It was really a damn cool thing. I'd love to do a few more of those kinds of things. To do it again, grab another batch of songs, twist 'em up and make them look pretty. (Laughs)




Barefoot - the Acoustic EP
December 2008



Discussing whether the album was getting discovered:

[...] it's the kind of thing with every album you put out. You want people to freak out over it and go, "Oh that's the greatest thing I've ever heard in my life!" And I don't think I pushed it enough to the right audience. I think my audience, which is used to noodly noodly guitar shit, I don't know if they get it completely. I think a lot of them do, but then again a lot of them just want to hear a bunch of pyrotechnics and that kind of stuff. So I think it's going to be a slow move as the audience for it discovers it.

But it's happening. I'm finding every once in awhile that someone will come to me and say, "Hey, I heard your acoustic stuff. I play acoustic guitar too, and I really liked it. I never heard your music before and it's really cool." So that's good when you know that it's reaching the right ears that will appreciate that kind of stuff. That's what it's about. The whole world isn't supposed to like any piece of music. You just have to find the people that it was meant for, and make sure they get it. That they're aware of it, check it out, and decide whether or not it's for them.



JUNE-SEPTEMBER 2009: TOURING WITH LITA FORD


In June it was a announced that Bumblefoot would tour with Lita Ford from mid-June to early September [Blabbermouth, June 7, 2009].

Lita and I have GN'R's blessings to do this together; all is cool. This won't interfere with upcoming GN'R plans, I'll be flying out and coming right back.

I'm really looking forward to getting out on the road with Bumblefoot. It only took a couple of practices before we really connected — and that hardly ever happens. I've played with some terrific musicians, but this combination is really something special. [...] I was so impressed by the different styles I heard from him," says Lita, by way of explaining her decision to team with Bumblefoot. "He can be really heavy one minute and totally subtle the next. It gives us an extra dimension.

I met [Lita Ford] a couple of times and hung out over a year before we started playing together. We would hang at mutual friends’ barbeques or the Chiller Exposition (being in the same room.) They are such a trip. Lita and the family are great! I had so much fun on tour with them. On how I got involved, she just did Sweden Rock and she called me right from there and asked me if I was going to be free? By coincidence we were taking a break for the summer from GNR and I was like 'I can definitely do the summer with ya.' She gave me a list of songs and had 2 days to bang it out and learn all the stuff. We had one rehearsal at her house and went through all the stuff and we hit the road. That was probably some of the most fun I had while on tour.


Being asked how the tour went:

Fantastic. There with lots of old friends, Dennis (Bumblefoot drummer) on drums, get to do a lot of spontaneous jamming and trading solos with Lita, been a great time.

Haha, that was some fun stuff! Learned the songs in 2 days, got together once and hit the road. Lita and her family, the band and crew, a lot of laughing and making trouble, haha. Good bunch of people... musically there was a lot of jamming and trading solos between Lita me and the keyboardist, spontaneous stuff, it was a damn good time.



2009: NEW BAND


In August 2009, Bumblefoot would talk about a new band he was starting:

I have a new band that's coming together quickly, we should be out there by the Fall.  More info as soon as we have something recorded & shows booked.

I have a new band that I’m starting up. I don’t want to say anything about it until the line-up is exact. We’re just waiting to see who our bass player is definitely going to be, but it’s going to be heavier than a lot of the other stuff I’ve done. It’s gonna be interesting. A lot of fretless guitar. I’m really looking forward to recording and touring and getting it out there really quick.



2009-: VARIOUS PROJECTS


Well, there's a band called ‘Return to Earth’ which is the drummer Chris Pennie formerly of Dillinger Escape Plan. Now he's with Coheed and Camabria. I worked on their first album doing the mixing and mastering as well as a little engineering. Now, I’m working on their 2nd album doing the mixing and some production tweaks and stuff. We're finishing up their 2nd album and are mixing the last song for it. That should be out hopefully early next year. Other than that, there is a ton of stuff, I can’t even keep track of it all (laughs.) If I’m not staring at my computer looking at a list of stuff I don't know, too much to keep in my brain. Yeah, there is always shit going on (laughs.)


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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:55 am

APRIL 2008
ROBIN LEAVES THE BAND...AGAIN


In early April 2008, the Nine Inch Nail website would be updated with a brand new photo of Robin with the short message, "Welcome Back!" [Blabbermouth, April 4, 2008]. This announcement caused speculation on whether Robin had left Guns N' Roses again, and a fan who reached out to Del James got the following reply:

Only Robin knows what the hell he's doing.
mygnrforum, April 2008


Later in the month, Axl would issue a comment and indicate not even the band knew if Robin had left or not:

Robin's plans took everyone in Guns a bit off guard as well as our fans.

Really, Del James' private email that someone took it upon themselves to post publicly is really the best way for us to address things at this time. "Only Robin knows what Robin's doing."

Neither we or management etc. know anymore in this regard and we prefer not to speculate or offer opinions at this time.

Robin's Robin. We're in negotiations for the release of Chinese Democracy and things are going well.

When we begin to put tour plans together we'll see where things are at. Until then, Robin's touring with NIN and we're working with management on our game plans.

Our thanks to those who continue to show their support.


Commenting on Robin's departure:

He’s playing the 27th of August up at The Meadowlands, which I will always call it. I don’t give a fuck if they are calling it Izod Theater or Continental or whatever they want to fucking call it. It’s the Meadowlands! Bring the name back, dammit! [laughs] That’s all I’m saying, haha.


Then, in November 2008, it seems Robin's name was removed from the band's MySpace page [Talking Metal, November 21, 2008]. Shortly thereafter, Axl would discuss Robin while chatting with fans and imply that Robin could come back for touring if they could come to an agreement:

It really is what it is. No decisions have been made by either him, I or us that I'm aware of. When we're touring or working in the studio or there's social things like a friend's dinner or party whatever we would hang. But as people get older they have their own lives. The Stones aren't going bowling every Tuesday etc. Robin leads one of the most different lives I know of starting with the trapeze in his backyard to the tv in his closet. Robin's work on the next is done so there's not lots for him to do here except the elusive promo and he'd rather be on stage. It's more about seeing where things are when Guns decides it's right for a tour and if we're able to make agreements we both are comfortable and can live with at that time.

Last I was aware, he had some interest in touring, though I can't say what that means until then. In our opinion, he's made things a bit awkward publicly, but that's just his way.


Bumblefoot would also comment on the situation:

As far as I can tell, Robin’s in the band until I hear otherwise. With a band like Guns, everything has to come through Axl. Nothing can come from me.


Eventually, Robin did not return to the band. In February 2009, Robin would explain getting the call from Trent Reznor that resulted in him leaving Guns N' Roses:

I received a call out of the blue one day! Trent reached out to me before the onset of this new tour, saying he was putting a new group together other than the one he had been touring with. Actually it started in an email and then a telephone conversation and eventually we had an organic conversation about what was going to happen - he shared with me the plans he had with NIN and asked if I would like to be a part of it, and I agreed to join the band again.


After leaving, Robin was very reluctant to talk about Guns N' Roses:

Look, I’m not really here to talk about the Guns n’ Roses guys. I certainly wish them the best, though.


With Dj's addition to the band in March 2009, it was clear Robin would not be part of the touring lineup, but the press release stated that Robin "continues to be part of GN'R, by virtue of Guns' history and his involvement in Chinese Democracy" [gunsnroses.com, March 21, 2009].

Yes, [I am] still in touch with Robin - let's all wish him and his family Happy Holidays!!


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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:56 am

JUNE 18, 2008
THE ANTIQUIET LEAKS


On June 18, 2008, the blogger Kevin Cogill (writing under the handle "Skwerl") from the Antiquiet Blog would leak nine songs from Chinese Democracy:

Well, to say that I’m living up to my reputation today is an understatement. I’d like to share with you 9 tracks from the new Guns N’ Roses album, Chinese Democracy. These are mastered, finished versions that you probably haven’t heard. I always said that the more that Axl and Geffen jerked around trying to figure out how to release this finally finished album that we’ve all been waiting over 13 years for, the greater the chances would be that it would slip out of a pressing plant or office somewhere and wind up in the hands of some asshole with a blog. So… Hey, I told you so.


Cogill had previously worked for Universal Music [Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2008].

The songs would be available for download from Antiquiet, but would be removed not long after due to the high traffic and after a call from Guns N' Roses [Antiquiet Blog, June 18, 2008].

Cogill would describe his blog host contacting him:

My host contacts me and says, ‘What the fuck did you do?’” I go, “Uhhhh. I posted some music.” He goes, “What exactly did you post?” I go, “Uhhhh. [Meek voice] New Guns n’ Roses.” He goes, “Motherfucker.”


And the GN'R camp:

It was a really cool guy from the Gn’R camp that was a middle man between someone who was very angry and me. He was trying to reach out and see if I’d go without a fight, which is more or less what I did.


Billboard would comment on the leak:

Nine purported "mastered, finished" tracks from Guns N' Roses' 14-years-in-the-making album "Chinese Democracy" were leaked online yesterday (June 18) by the Web site Antiquiet.com, prompting a quick cease-and-desist from the band's handlers and the removal of the links.

Six of the songs have already leaked in one unfinished form or another: "Better," "The Blues," the title track, "Madagascar," "IRS" and "There Was a Time." But these versions appear to be much further along on the path toward completion, and feature new touches like organ and tambourine on "IRS" and a beefed-up chorus with multi-tracked vocals on "Madagascar."

The three previously unheard songs are "Rhiad and the Bedouins," "If the World" and a track whose title is unknown.


A few days later, on June 23 and June 24, FBI questioned Cogill at his work place and his home, about the leaks and wanted to see the files, but Cogill claimed they had been deleted as per request from Axl's attorney [Rolling Stone, June 24, 2008]. Cogill had received a cease-and-desist letter threatening legal action, but Cogill wasn't worried:

I’m not so worried about that. It’s a legal grey area since it wasn’t for download, it wasn’t a finished product. We aren’t sure who owns the recordings. I feel like I might survive this. [...] If legal proceedings come my way, I’ll face them 100 percent. I’m not afraid of that. I did what I did, and I’ll face the music if I have to.


Bumblefoot would comment on the leaks:

Those were demos and not final mixes, I’m happy to say. By that I mean, I want people to be surprised and thrilled when they hear the album – as opposed to something they heard on the internet. I don’t blame the fans for wanting to hear it – they want music, and they want it now. The problem is that the guy who leaks it is getting in way of Guns N’ Roses getting the album out the right way.


It is possible Bumblefoot is referring to another set of leaks in the quote above.

And in December, Axl would take about leaks in general:

Basically for us it's devastating across the board. And when u have such a majority openly justifying their actions and throwing out nonsense such as it's not actually stealing as the original is still with whomever it's unbelievably insane. It exists because of the greed of the record industry, the greed of large scale pirating, the ease and common nature now of the act itself and personal motivations such as popularity among certain groups, possible momentary media recognition etc. And it's too rampant and widespread. It's simply too huge a mess for the courts to deal with and in that with those #'s and the expense and manpower involved necessary at this time to curtail it... obviously there are more serious crimes for society to focus on. Besides, fuck musicians right? If they didn't make enough already then they probably suck anyway rt? "I ain't cryin' for no rich dude." Whatever. And who knows? What are our #'s on the torrent sites for this album? I don't know. So I don't know how or if it's affected us in terms of sales this time around. Maybe not but w/the economy and the core of our market I'd think there's a possibility it has had a negative effect. Anyone?


In May 2009, Bumblefoot would be asked how much the band had lost from the leaks:

I don't know. All I know is that my last CD 'Abnormal', about three weeks after I released it was when I first started finding torrent files of it. I checked one, and there had been 1,500 downloads just of that torrent of it. That file was on the Internet for about a week. So it's at a point now where I don't think you can fairly assess the success of an album anymore by its sales. You have to assess it by its downloads. You have to start asking the philosophical question, is it how many albums you sell, or is it how many copies people have? How do you assess it now? Is it only SoundScan that you're going to consider legitimate? Because if that's the case, yeah, GNR went Platinum, but if you go by how many people just torrented a copy as well, it's probably quadruple Platinum.



AUGUST 29: COGILL IS ARRESTED


On August 29, 2008, FBI arrested Cogill at his home in Culver City on suspicion of violating federal copyright laws [Billboard, August 27, 2008; Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2008]. Cogill was facing up to five years in prison [The Smoking Gun, August 27, 2008] or three years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines [Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2008].

Larry Solters, spokesman for Guns N' Roses, would comment on the arrest:

Guns N' Roses representatives have been made aware of the arrests and are leaving the matter to the authorities.


Cogill was ordered to return to court for a preliminary hearing on the matter set for September 17 [NME, August 28, 2008].

The band would comment on the case on August 28, stating that although they didn't condone the leaks, they were more focused in identifying the original source:

Presently, though we don't support this guy's actions at that level, our interest is in the original source. We can't comment publicly at this time as the investigation is ongoing.

We appreciate your understanding,

Guns N' Roses


Slash would comment on the leaks and Cogill's arrest:

I think it’s totally fine that he got arrested. I hope he rots in jail. It’s going to affect the sales of the record, and it’s not fair. The Internet is what it is, and you have to deal with it accordingly, but I think if someone goes and steals something, it’s theft. At one point, I had an early version of all of "Use Your Illusion" on CD and I had it all stacked up with a piece of cardboard around, wrapped in duct tape. I left a hotel in South America to do a gig, I came back and I saw that it had been ripped off. One of the staff at the hotel ripped it off. Fortunately, I got it back, and the guy got arrested. That was a really frightening experience… making a record is like making a painting or any other personal art project. I don’t see the difference between that theft and this one.

All the Napster stuff and all these people who talk about illegal file sharing killing the record business and taking money out of the artists’ pockets! It may be true. But Napster was just a reaction to the record business not catching up with the development of the internet. Napster was inevitable. But when somebody takes somebody’s work and releases it prematurely just to become famous, it’s an incredibly selfish and criminal thing to do. A record is a piece of art. And it shouldn’t be released until the creator decides to release it - and I don’t care how long it took to make it.


And in February 2009, Axl would talk about the leaks:

Having someone jeopardize your efforts so cavalierly is pretty much a nightmare. I don't know that it hurt us though, at least as one might think. Hard to say. That's not to imply leaks don't hurt artists, but that they were earlier roughs and the level of sound quality is much higher with the finals. That said, you have those who become emotionally attached to how the leaks sound, which, for better or worse, usually isn't so great to contend with. And it seems that those who often do so and complain publicly, oddly and coincidentally, have a history of basically being detractors as well even if they're somehow considered part of a "fan" base.



NOVEMBER 2008: COGILL PLEADS GUILTY TO ONE FEDERAL COUNT OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT


On October 20, Cogill pleaded not guilty to the charges [E! Online, October 20, 2008]. On October 30 the charges had been changed from "felony" to "misdemeanor", with only up to one year in prison at the maximum, because prosecutors considered it "more appropriate" [Wired, October 30, 2008]. In addition, a deal was being worked out between the prosecution and Cogill [Wired, October 30, 2008]. As a result of the plea deal, on November 11, Cogill pleaded guilty to one federal count of copyright infringement [Billboard, November 11, 2008]. The plea deal did not involve Cogill serving any prison time [Wired, November 13, 2008]. Cogill's lawyer, David Kaloyanides commented:

We're looking at straight probation as a result of taking this deal. [...] We have agreed in a very limited fashion to provide information. We're still working with the government.



MARCH-JULY 2009: SENTENCING AND AN APOLOGY


The court trial would take place on March 3, 2009 [NBC Los Angeles, December 15, 2008]. During the trial, the prosecution would claim the loss as a result of the leaks equaled $371,622 while the RIAA would claim the leaks had resulted in "more than a $2.2 million loss based on a "$6.39 legitimate wholesale value" for the nine tracks the RIAA claims (.pdf) were downloaded about 350,000 times" [Wired, March 13, 2009]. The prosecution demanded a 6 month prison sentence with sentencing set for May 4 [Wired, March 13, 2009]. In mid-July Cogill was sentenced to "one year probation and two months' home confinement" after having agreed to cooperate with the Recording Industry Association of America to produce an anti-piracy message [Wired, July 14, 2009]. Prosecutor Kevin Missakian said that the public address will either be a radio or television message of "Kevin talking about the importance of protecting copyright holders' rights in their songs and movies" and that the government was "satisfied" with the sentence, but "the government had asked for some jail time in hopes of sending a stronger message" [Wired, July 14, 2009].

After the sentencing, Cogill would make a statement:

I've come to respect the artists' right to determine how their art is released. I do apologize to Axl for that disrespect. As a fan who had lost faith in all of the promises of release, I didn't see too many other options at the time. But in a fair world, it's not my place to judge, let alone act.


And:

A friend of mine conducted an interview with Slash last year in which he called me a thief and wished that I 'rot in jail.' I found that surprisingly crass, especially considering the guy has made no bones about shoplifting cassette tapes with the same rationale as today's downloaders. So if he wants to see me in jail, I'll see him in the cafeteria.


A few days later, Skwerl would conduct another interview where he would discuss Fernando Lebeis involvement and claim he had been responsible for previous leaks:

I’m sure you guys know about Beta’s kid Fernando. He was actually the first to call me, identifying himself as a member of the “Guns n’ Roses camp. ” Like I said, the songs were long gone, but he wanted to know if I was going to put them back up. I told him I would not. He asked where I got them, and I told them that I didn’t know the identity of my source. The cease and desist came via email shortly after.

Apparently the FBI questioned Fernando (before me), and he had given them a very different story. He told them that I said I got the tracks from a source at the record label, and he told them that the songs were still online when he called, suggesting that he had something to do with my taking them down. Initially we thought that he had something to do with the leaks (why else would he make so much shit up to the freaking FBI), but when we investigated, he was a dead end. He’s been responsible for past leaks, but not mine. So I don’t know. He may have been trying to play hero to redeem himself, or he may have mistakenly thought he was somehow responsible. I don’t know.


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