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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.



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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:44 am


- 2010-2011: WORKING ON NEW MUSIC?

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:46 am


Having used finished a tour of Latin America, tour rumours were swirling in March 2010 and soon it would be confirmed that the band would play at the Reading and Leeds festivals in England in August [Metal Hammer, March 24, 2010; Billboard, March 29, 2010]. Shows in Croatia in June were also announced in local media [Croatian Times, March 1, 2010]. In April, the followed rumoured shows would be posted by GN'R Daily:

Guns N' Roses will tour in Europe this summer. There are a lot of rumours floating around and a lot of dates will be added. Stay tuned!

Guns N' Roses - Europe Tour dates 2010:

May 31 - Bergen, Norway
June 2 - Oslo, Norway
June 5 - Helsinki, Finland
June 6 - St. Petersburg, Russia
June 8 - Moscow, Russia
June 12 - Norje, Sweden
June 13 - Aalborg, Denmark
June 15 - Berlin, Germany
June 16 - Arnhem, Netherlands
June 18 - Vienna, Austria
June 20 - Zagreb, Croatia
June 21 - Belgrade, Serbia
June 23 - Prague, Czech Republic
June 26 - Dessel, Belgium
June 28 - Zurich, Switzerland
June 29 - Milan, Italy

August 27 - Reading, UK
August 29 - Leeds, UK

On May 14, GN'R Daily stated that some of these rumoured shows had been confirmed by the band [GN'R Daily, May 14, 2010].

Then on May 19, Classic Rock would question whether the tour would happen at all when the two shows in Croatia was postponed from June to September [Classic Rock, May 19, 2010]. GN'R Daily would quickly obtain confirmation from tour manager Rod MacSween that the tour was not cancelled or postponed [GN'R Daily, May 19, 2010].

In July, the band's first show in USA in four years would be announced when they were scheduled to headline at the Rock 'N Rev Festival in Sturgis, S.D, on August 13 [Billboard/Reuters, July 21, 2010].

When asked if they would continue touring after the fall tour in Europe:

This tour is far from over!

On August 18, as the band was doing a show in Sturgis, USA, Bumblefoot would be asked about the plans:

Next thing we're going to Europe for two months. After that we have a little low which I'm assuming will be filled with something, well, maybe not. You know, maybe that'll just be down time to just spend with our families and everything. And then after that we have a show in Sydney, Australia, and then we have 2011 to consider and see what the hell we're gonna do. [...] And this is where I put on my game face and say, "I don't know! What the hell we gonna do? I have no idea!" And even if I do have an idea I ain't gonna tell you cuz it ain't my place, it's up to management to say. You know, when the time is right and things are confirmed, you know... I'm sure it's not gonna end in 2010. I'm sure we'll do something in 2011, but it's GN'R, you know, you never fucking know what's gonna happen.

As for continuing to tour in 2011:

Hopefully, hopefully we'll keep it going.

There would also be rumours that the band would play on Rock In Rio in 2011:

The fans were making a campaign about it on twitter. I wrote the same message to give my support, but it was just to show that I also wanted it. All concerts depend of managements and promoters, not the artist. But I hope the tour doesn’t end this year! Unless if it is to record another album, that would be cool.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:47 am


With social media like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram came possibilities for communicating directly with fans without going via magazines and newspapers. Axl, who had been reluctant to do interviews since the 90s, citing a pro-Slash bias [see previous section], would embrace Twitter as a platform to update his fans during tours, and also later as a means to share his opinions on society and politics [see previous chapter].

Also Slash, who contrary to Axl did do interviews regularly to promote himself and his projects, would realize the value of social media:

[...] it eliminates the need for me to do interviews that are usually going to get misconstrued. They can actually get it from the horse's mouth if necessary. Now they can go direct to the source.

Talking about Twitter:

I love it! I hate the name of it though. It’s such a stupid fucking name. If it was called something else it would be great [laughs].

It’s really cool to know where your fans are coming from. You can give out accurate information from the horse’s mouth without relying on press releases and publications. And just being direct with them, without having to go through the hassles of meeting on the street, or having them come to my house! [Laughs]. It’s very personal. I also realise that it’s taken the place of smoking. I worked that out the other day, because it gives me something to do with my hands.

And using it specifically for promotion:

Doing this record, I did an independent distribution deal, I started using social networking, I put myself out there in places. I don't even know whether it's good or bad. It's flying by the seat of your pants and seeing what sticks. There's a lot of shit that I'm doing now that in my sort of cool Guns N' Roses days I wouldn't have done.

I'm a fucking Twitter junkie now. I'm not one of those people, even in the days when it was just the phone, I've never been one to call, 'Hey, dude, what's happening?' Twitter's one of those things where you can reach out to as many fans as you can get a hold of and it's a sort of lifeline to your audience that's in real time and as close to in-person as you're gonna get.

The cool thing about Twitter or Facebook was it's given me a chance to reach out to anybody who is interested as opposed to having to issue press releases .... It puts you more in control of your own promotion or just to be more square with fans in general.

Slash would also frequently update social media on his various projects, including recording of new music:

It's cool to be able to have a personal relationship with people that support what you're doing. Especially if you are making a record or doing a tour - that's more for them anyway. It's nice to have that interaction anyway. It's one of the coolest technological developments over the last 20 years what you are able to do with social networking. For people to sit and talk shit about whatever is something else altogether. In the beginning I took it way too seriously. On Twitter I was direct messaging fans and I was spending every waking moment texting these people and I realized this is something I can't keep up.

Slash would specifically use Instagram to post...risky pictures, which would get him some complaints:

Yeah, I post crazy shit on there all the time. [...] I mean, someone just said, "You know a lot of kids, you know, follow you on Instagram and you post these things on there," and I don't do it all the time but sometimes I find something that I think is pretty profound and I'll just put it on there, and I love sex and I love all... [laughs] So I see stuff and I put it up. So I get these complaints sometimes from people in person, like I'll meet the mom in person- [...] Yeah, so I'm like, you know, I apologize but I'm not gonna censor myself for your child.

Axl, on the other hand, would state he was not using social media much but that he understood its value for fans but also express not understanding why people would disclose so much personal information publicly:

I'm not that directly involved with social media, though we do use it with GNR. I'll make a post here and there. I get shown or told about things people think I'll have an interest in, updates. I like that our fans can keep up to date and connect with each other.

Regarding social media, I really don't understand what appears to be the general population's lack of concern over privacy issues in publicizing their entire lives on the internet for others to see to such an extent... but hey it's them, not me, so whatever.

However, when so many seem to be making similar choices regarding their privacy to where it seems to become the norm, and in turn businesses use someone's lack of involvement with social media to marginalize or stereotype and stigmatize them, or use it as grounds not to hire someone, I feel it's extremely unfair and seems a bit Orwellian.

Tommy would respond to an interviewer stating he had "had a few interesting tweets":

Yeah, there were some good moments out there. And I like, you know, when I'm on the road with that particular band [=Guns N' Roses], it's pretty fun to do it because so many people are tuned into it and they're all like, "What's he saying now? What's he saying now?" And, you know, everyone in the band does it so I don't do it as much as everyone else in the band. I don't have much interest in it, really, but once in a while I'll go, "Well, I got to speak up on this one," "I got to chime in on this particular subject."

In 2018, Slash would talk more about social media and that he uses it deliberately for marketing:

I’m on social media for marketing. I mean, to promote gigs or to promote a record. You can talk to fans in a direct way that you couldn’t before.

But that his Instagram account, where he posted "garish smut and comical horror gifs", was more personal:

My Instagram is just me jerking off. [...] Oh yeah, [I'am the one posting there]. Who else is going to do that shit?

As for reading comments:

It’s too much. I don’t want to be in that world where you’re just glued to what everybody else thinks and everybody else has to say about stuff. “It’s hard, but myself and Duff, and a lot of guys I work with, none of us go down that path, and everybody else we know does. That’s where I get all my information from.

The depths to which people go in social media… This is a phenomenon that has changed society completely. It’s deep, man. It’s a huge outlet for cowards, a fucking horrible way for people to distance themselves and to get further away from being able to communicate directly.

It’s craziness, you know? Especially around a band like Guns. People tell me about [what people are saying] all the time, and I don’t even want to know about it, because it’s just too much. It’s overwhelming to me.

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:48 am


I don’t look at myself as a rock star; I look at myself as a businessman and an entrepreneur. I love to create and I’m very artistic. I have a great clothing line called Ashba Swag; I’m bringing my stage clothing to the fans. Ashba Media is a graphic design agency and we’re creating a lot of cool products. We have the Demented Collection of guitars and we’re working on a signature Les Paul. We have the Ashba Tuner on iTunes, which is a professional guitar tuner. And of course Ashbaland Studios is where I create all the music: produce, write and I’m starting to get into scoring. I’m signing on to do a really cool horror movie and it’s just a lot of fun. I love creating.

If it isn’t Guns, Sixx:A.M., writing or producing other artists, I’m more interested in dumping most of my time into building my clothing line. It’s doing exceptionally well right now. It’s called Ashba Swag. I have an art side to my brain and a music side - Ashba Swag is that outlet that lets me to collide those two. Rock meets art.

When people ask me who were my influences, it was never guitar players, it was never, so to speak, musicians. I’ve always looked up to certain people but my true influences in life were people like Walt Disney, people like Steve Jobs, people that really came and changed the world in a much bigger way than just a dream. They’ve changed the world in a massive way. And I always felt like I was put here to do something great, like really beyond music. I still to this day don’t think I’ve found the real reason why I’m here, you know. People are like, “But you’re in the biggest band in the world” and I go, yeah, but there is something inside that I keep searching for and I think before I go there is going to be something, I’m pretty confident, that is going to be kind of the reason I’m known for. And I don’t think it’s going to be music-related, which is weird.

I always joke that I play guitar for a hobby and that really I'm an entrepreneur. If you hung out with me at my house you would never know I played in Guns N' Roses. I'm not the guy sitting around patting myself on the back. I don't even like the word 'rock star'.



As a kid, DJ was into drawing and this interest developed into Ashba Media when he grew older:

I had a cartoon in the newspaper for four years when I was young. I was always into painting and drawing, and then I got into Photoshop. Ashbaland is the world of my music and Ashbaland Studio. Ashba Media is my graphic design agency for wallpapers and desktops for mobiles.

Ashba Media is a graphic design agency and we’re creating a lot of cool products. We have the Demented Collection of guitars and we’re working on a signature Les Paul. We have the Ashba Tuner on iTunes, which is a professional guitar tuner.

Ashba Media, it’s a graphic design agency, a creative agency. We do everything from, gosh … you name it. Right now, I’m working on an animated movie script that I wrote, and my company is designing all the characters. We’re starting to design some Guns N’ Roses merchandise; we did some of the stage design, all the art on Axl’s piano. We do a lot of work with Ovation guitars, just a lot of different things. It’s just a really cool way to tie in my love for art and my love for music.

I was an artist before I was a musician, and in my mind art always goes hand-in-hand with music. When I was in Jr. High, I had a cartoon in the local newspaper and I have always been the “artsy kid”. I created ASHBA Media, Inc. when my artwork was seen by Virgin, and they appointed me as their agency of records to brand and market all of the Virgin Megastores worldwide.

Ever since I was young, I would draw on everything there was: paper plates, blah, blah, blah. I started working for a newspaper when I was really young, like in seventh grade, I believe, seventh or eighth grade, and I noticed they didn’t have a cartoon in the newspaper. And I worked down in the crappy, folding the papers that come out of the press, and our boss was scary, like this old scary guy that everyone was afraid of. So I remember going up to the third floor of this small, little, tiny town rickety building and knocking on the big boss’s door and walking in and he looked at me like, what balls do you have? (laughs). And I tried to tell him, “I know how to make your paper better.” And he was just like, “What?” And I’m in like seventh or eighth grade and I go, “Your paper doesn’t have a cartoon and everybody loves cartoons. I would love to do a cartoon for the newspaper.” And he kicked me out of his office but about a week later he came down and everybody got all tense and he goes, “I need to see you in my office,” and I was like, crap, he’s going to fire me. And it went from that to him going, “I thought about what you were saying, bring me in some ideas.” I actually stayed up all night drawing and drawing. And I went from that to he gave me my own office. So I think that kind of showed me something from an early age. It’s like, wow, I believed in something I really strongly believed in and I, as hard as it was, approached it and it worked out. And I think that’s kind of what was the start of everything else.

ASHBA Media, Inc. is a Creative Agency. There are no limits as to what we are capable of. If you can imagine it, we can bring it to life.

The Ashba Tuner was released in 2010. While presumably being asked about whether he would like to return to El Salvador, DJ would cunningly find a way to plug his new guitar tuner app:

Yes, I would love to. I can't wait to come back and I have a brand new iPhone app coming out to the iTunes Apple iTunes' store, so check it out, it's called Asbha Tuner. Coming to the iTunes store in like a day or two, and it's a professional guitar tuner that you can download to your phone and I designed it and... So check it out.

A few days later he would talk more about the app:

I decided to create a professional guitar tuner app because I wanted to design a tuner that not only would be useful to guitar and bass players, but to professional guitar and bass techs as well. I teamed up with Curious Brain to help me create what I feel is the ultimate professional guitar/bass tuner application out there.

In addition to having the normal features you would expect from a digital tuner, the app would contain the ""ASHBA" button to learn about all things Ashba, and stay updated on his latest moves with the Ashba screen, with links to D.J.'s web site, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter pages" [Blabbermouth, April 19, 2010].

In 2015 he would talk about wanting to move into film and TV:

I have a very successful media company here in Vegas. We do all eight Cirque du Soleil accounts in town and put all these massive one-of-a-kind displays in all the major casinos. We just finished the Jeff Dunham [show] over at Planet Hollywood. I go in and design all these, and then I have a company build out my designs. I’ve been doing that and Ashba Clothing. The clothing line is doing really well, and we’re about ready to put that into stores worldwide, which I’m really happy about. My main goal right now, honestly, is to head towards film and TV.


In 2011 DJ became a competitor to Matt's Sorum Noce's clothing line when he collaborated with Cody Varona of Forgotten Saints clothing line to launch clothes inspired by himself [Blabbermouth, March 28, 2011].

Cody has custom-made my stage clothes for about 10 years now. She is hands down the best!

The clothing line was called Ashba Swag:

My hat is actually hand-made, and I got a clothing line and actually everything I have on is by Ashba Swags. So, got to we have full stage clothing coming up, I teamed up with Cody and it's just been a lot of fun launching it, we had a lot of fun getting off on it.

I have a great clothing line called Ashba Swag; I’m bringing my stage clothing to the fans.

I've been working with the lady who's been making all my stage clothes for the last 10 years, Cody. We put out stage clothes for the fan. I'm from Indiana. I remember what it's like to grow up trying to play with little bands and make your little outfits. There's really no place to get authentic, really cool, one-of-a-kind handmade, hand-stitched stage clothes. I kind of never forgot that. I went to Cody and I said that it would be really cool if some kid in Ohio or Brazil or wherever could have a place to go and actually buy the exact same clothes that I'm wearing on stage. She makes clothes for Motley Crue to Buckcherry and it goes on and on. This is the real deal stuff. Stage clothes are just one part of what we do at Ashba Swag. If you can, check it out It's really cool clothing and just tons of different stuff on there. Like my signature guitars are on there. A lot of fun stuff.

I have a very very small team that I’ve handpicked. Codi has done my stage clothes for fifteen years and she has thirty years of clients. She’s done (Marilyn) Manson, Rihanna, Mötley Crüe, BUCKCHERRY and everybody under the sun. She got my vision, so we teamed up and I brought her into Ashba Swag to do all my stage clothes. I sketch up a lot of the graphic driven clothes. You would not believe how hands on I am from beginning to the very end. On my days off, I sit here on Skype with my employees and over see the entire thing. We’re constantly coming up with new things and again it’s a labor of love. It’s doing really well which is so cool and I’m seeing the clothes everywhere. We only sell it at, but when I go to the concerts - there are always people in the front row with Ashba Swag on and that’s an amazing feeling. The coolest part is that they’ll come up and say ‘this is my favorite hoodie. I have tons of hoodies, but I can’t seem to take this one off.’ When it no longer has to do with me or the designs, but instead it’s the comfort of the clothing that we’re making - that holds a lot more weight with me.

I was always an artist. It’s my artistic expression. I got tired of being in a rock band and not being able to find unique clothes, so I teamed up with Cody and we designed a bunch of cool stage clothes…then made those available to anyone who wants something unique, rare, and handmade.

I have always been an artist, even before a musician. I created ASHBA Swag for my fans. Some people paint pictures and hang them in galleries for others to enjoy. I love the fact that people can wear my vision, our creation for years to come. My main goal was to create a place that had something for everyone. A place where seasons don’t exist.

Everything goes through me. If my name is on it it has to be quality. My name is everything. So, when I’m stamping my last name on things it’s — my whole thing was, I started seeing all these kids showing up with homemade outfits, kind of trying to dress like me, you know, wow. It’s an honor, but how cool could it be if they go to my store, see what I’m wearing onstage and buy the exact same outfit from the same exact maker.

Cody Varona is one of the best in the industry. We teamed up and created Ashba Swag. She’s just awesome. She’s done everybody’s stage clothes for the last 30 years, from Marilyn Manson to Rihanna to Motley Crue — the list goes on and on. She’s made my stage clothes for 15 years, so there’s just no better person to team up with. We have about 350 items in the store. We just launched two pop up stores — one at Forgotten Saints in Los Angeles and one in Henderson Harley-Davidson in here in Las Vegas… It’s really killer stuff. We have a little bit of everything, from robes to you name it, T-shirts to stage clothes to kids clothes.

In May 2012, DJ was looking to open his first store:

Everything we create is made in the USA but I’m still looking for a location to open up one official store. Right now you can only buy the stuff online at but it is definitely a dream of mine and it’s kind of like my baby. It’s the art side of my brain and it is incredible to be able to make hand stitched one of a kind clothes, like my stage clothes, and make them available for fans. When you watch me on stage, anything I have on, you can go directly to the website and purchase it by the exact same maker. She’s also now working exclusively for Ashba Swag which is amazing because she has thirty years of clients ranging from Motley Crue, Marilyn Manson to Rihanna; you name it and she has made their wardrobe. We have a really strong team behind Ashba Swag.

Each new piece of clothing has to be better than everything in my closet. Quality is everything to me. We’re about to launch a brand new store and brand new website, actually probably today or tomorrow I will be launching it, but you will have to check it out as it is really something. We’ve dumped a lot of money and time into rebuilding this to make it very user friendly for fans across the world.

And DJ had his sister, Kari Kaisner, running the operation when he was busy on tour:

My sister is actually my assistant, one of my main assistants, and she runs like the entire thing but I oversee everything. Nothing gets approved and nothing gets done unless I okay it. That’s not because I’m a control freak, at the end of the day it’s my name going on it and if it’s not something I’d put in my closet, then it’s not going in the store. I don’t care how much money I’d make off it because I never built this company around money. This was just an artistic outlet for me and while some people like to paint pictures, I love to design graphics and clothes.

Talking about the business:

I started a clothing line in 2008. It was a passion of mine. Since I was little, I would draw on everything like napkins, paper plates. I was an artist. Art and music have always been my true passions and I've found a way with Ashba Clothing instead of drawing on napkins and paper, I basically drew on fabric. I don't look at myself or consider myself a clothing designer, nor do I ever want to be. That was never my goal. It's just basically an open canvas for me to be creative. Other than that, I look at my clothing more like pieces of art. With Ashba Clothing, it was one of those things where I launched the store and it started doing really well. At one point, I think we had over 400 items in the store and lately we've changed the name to Ashba Clothing, so if you go to but we are focusing on only 5 items now and we felt over the many years of doing clothing, these are the 5 items that the fans from the amount of sales and numbers, that they truly love about Ashba Clothing. I was like, well let's really clean the clutter and focus on what the fans really want and let's do that really fucking good. So let's do t shirts, beanies, bandannas, jewelry and hoodies and let's do it the best that we can do it. So that's kinda what we did when we changed it to Ashba Clothing. We re - focused the whole brand into really handing the fans what we believe that they really love about the clothing.


And of course Ashbaland Studios is where I create all the music: produce, write and I’m starting to get into scoring. I’m signing on to do a really cool horror movie and it’s just a lot of fun. I love creating.


I also am launching my very own Social Network. It will be a Rock N’ Roll Community for Fans to unite together! Its gonna be bad ass! will be coming soon to an internet near you!

I will also be launching a social network, called “ASHBALAND.COM, A Rock n’ Roll community”. It’s the ultimate place on the net for fans to unite, come together, and share their love for music.


I also am happy to announce that I started a company called AAG (ASHBA Automotive Group) with the Ryan Friedlinghaus CEO of West Coast Customs. We are launching the Limited Edition ASHBA Challenger by Dodge. “The Death Ride” it is the sickest muscle car on the market and will be available later this year. So I am very excited about all of this!

I started a corporation called ASHBA AUTOMOTIVE GROUP with Ryan Freidlinghaus of WEST COAST CUSTOMS. We will be launching the brand-new, Limited Edition ASHBA CHALLENGER, by Dodge. We are very proud. It is the ultimate, modern “Rock N’ Roll Hotrod”. Rock N’ Roll and hotrods used to go hand in hand, and it’s an American tradition that we want to bring back in a big way.

DJ with limited edition Ashba Challenger...
well, mostly just DJ

Talking about how it came about:

That’s just another prime example of kind of thinking outside the box and doing things. I’m real big on cross-marketing things. If it makes sense in the big scheme of things, it makes sense. But I designed the car and I met Ryan [Friedlinghaus] from West Coast Customs and we started a company called Ashba Auto and he saw the car I was doing. At the time it wasn’t like, I want to put out my own car. It had nothing to do with that. I just saw the car a certain way. So when I bought one, before I even drove it, I had it dropped off and I said, do this and this and this and this and this to it. And they did that and I walked in and I said, ok, now change this and this and this and this and now it’s perfect. I had to go back to the dealership and their mouths dropped. They were like, “That is the coolest Challenger we have ever seen. Would you mind if we duplicate it and make five of them? We have five stores and we can put your signature on it” and blah, blah, blah. Then I ran into Ryan. And everything happens for a reason and we’re right where we’re supposed to be, there’s no mistakes in this life. So I ran into Ryan and I told him, “You know a lot about cars and this is what they kind of approached me with.” And he goes, “No, no, no, let’s do this on a big scale. I want to build your cars out.” So he took my car and ripped the wrap off and painted it for real, like we patented the paint color, and we did it for real. And now Dodge is getting involved in and it became a much bigger thing than I even expected. So sometimes accidents can happen (laughs).

I’ve teamed up Ryan Friedlinghaus, CEO of West Coast Customs to develop my Limited Edition ASHBA Challenger by Dodge which is being released later this year.


We designed Axl's [Rose] piano and we designed some stage stuff, and it was cool. We designed some t-shirts and lot of the posters and flyers for different things. So, I mean, it was fun. I had a lot of fun, both because I was in there playing guitar, but also I had a lot of artistic freedom to do things and help in different ways offstage, which was kind of fun for me.

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:49 am


In April, 2010, Nikki Sixx, DJ's band mate in the band SIXX:A.M., would suggest DJ was just a temporary member of Guns N' Roses:

He's with Guns N' Roses. [He] went to South America [with them]... and he's kinda filling in doing that thing right now until we get the… With Sixx: A.M., it's interesting. We're songwriters and producers and we just… we make this music and we do whatever we wanted to. We don't ever really plan on touring. We did tour with Crüe Fest. I don't know what we'll do with this one. Maybe we'll do something. But the music's Number One.

Rumours that he was just filling in would prompt DJ to post on Here Today....Gone To Hell:

I can assure everyone that I am not just "filling in" I am very excited about the upcoming concerts and my future with Guns N' Roses and I'm honored to be apart of such a legendary band. God only knows the destruction were planning to do. Hope your all well N' I hope this clears shit up . . ., May 4, 2010
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:49 am

MAY 17, 2010-JUNE 2011

In response to Azoff's lawsuit from March 24, Axl filed his counter-suit against Azoff on May 17 [Axl vs Azoff Counter-Lawsuit Documents, May 17, 2010].

In his lawsuit, Axl would claim Azoff had tried to coerce Axl to reunite with previous members by sabotaging the ongoing tour, sabotage the sales Chinese Democracy, and by trying to break up the current band lineup. These allegations are described in detail in the lawsuit documents, but suffice here to present the summary:

Azoff, along with the other Cross-Defendants, devised and implemented a scheme to coerce Rose and force him to reunite with the original Guns N’ Roses’ members. Azoff wanted Guns N’ Roses to fail by sabotaging its touring and record sales, breaking up the current lineup, and forcing Rose into a position where he would have no choice but to reunite with the original members of Guns N’ Roses for a reunion tour. Azoff would then take credit for the reunion and reap the rewards through huge commissions. Rose was adamantly opposed to the reunion tour.


In furtherance of this scheme, Azoff and his cohorts neglected to manage and oversee the promotion and marketing of the Chinese Democracy album, lied about a prospective Van Halen super tour, and mishandled Guns N’ Roses tour dates in Asia, Canada and South America. Then upon realizing that he couldn’t bully Rose and accomplish his scheme, Azoff resigned and abandoned Guns N’ Roses on the eve of a major tour, filing suit for commissions he didn’t earn and had no right to receive. Cross-Defendants thereby violated their contractual obligations and breached their fiduciary duties to Rose and the band causing millions of dollars in damages.

In 2010, Alan Niven would support the argument that Azoff had been trying to make the old band reunite:

Here’s my pot shot about Chinese Democracy. Axl made two huge mistakes. One was releasing it and the other was Irving Azoff. [...] I think the release was done purely based on financial reasons. And Irving wanted to get it out of the way because he wanted the reunion. I doubt he was motivated to see it successful. He essentially got paid for it's release, not it's subsequent performance and the deal with Best Buy was set up that way. Going with Best Buy narrowed the market reach - Wal Mart would have been a better exclusive - they have a deeper reach into secondary and tertiary markets - but best of all would have been to let everyone have it. There is a sense that the deal was designed to maximize the immediate take - to grab that and run to the next point of agenda - a re-union. I don’t think Irving ever understood the unlikelihood of that reunion ever taking place and how deep feelings run. [...] I couldn’t speak to whether Irving can be deemed arrogant, but I do suspect his middle name is Napoleon.

In the lawsuit, Axl would focus on Azoff's prominent position in the music business that allowed him to "coerce and bully" artists to do his bidding:

[Azoff] is the CEO, director and majority shareholder of Front Line, one of the largest artist management companies in the industry. Azoff s roster of artists includes the Eagles, Neil Diamond, Jimmy Buffett, Christina Aguilera and John Mayer. In October 2008, Front Line was acquired by Ticketmaster. As part of the acquisition, Azoff obtained a substantial ownership interest in Ticketmaster; Azoff was also named Ticketmaster’s CEO and Chairman.

Ticketmaster is the largest ticketing company in the United States. In 2008, Ticketmaster earned gross revenues of about $800 million from its U.S. ticketing business alone, providing ticketing services to venues representing more than 80% of major concert venues. Ticketmaster was by far the largest provider of ticketing services to major concert venues in the U.S. By merging with Ticketmaster, Azoff sought to increase his influence and power in the industry even more. He was now able to control ticketing and concert content.

Live Nation is the largest concert promoter in the United States. Live Nation has entered into long-term partnerships with several popular artists including Madonna and Jay-Z to exclusively promote their concerts, sell recordings of their music, and market artist-branded merchandise. Live Nation also owns and operates about 70 major concert venues throughout the United States. Until Live Nation entered the ticketing market in late 2008, no Ticketmaster competitor had achieved more than a few points of market share. At the end of 2008, instead of renewing its contract with Ticketmaster, Live Nation launched its own ticketing business in competition with Ticketmaster. Within a few months, Live Nation was ticketing more than 15 percent of the capacity at major concert venues in the United States.

Azoff and Ticketmaster sought to eliminate the competition from Live Nation and broaden their control of the music industry. According to the DOJ, “Ticketmaster moved to eliminate Live Nation entirely” by merging with Live Nation less than two months after Live Nation began its own ticketing business. Azoff was named Chairman of the newly merged entity.

On January 25, 2010, the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit seeking to stop the proposed merger. According to the complaint, the transaction was effectively a horizontal merger to monopolize the sale of ticketing services to major concert venues in the United States. Among others, “the merged firm’s ability to bundle primary ticketing services (implicitly or explicitly) with access to artists managed by Front Line and/or promoted by Live Nation would require competitors to offer venues both primary ticketing services and access to content in order to compete most effectively.” The merger would enable the new entity to control and dictate terms to artists and venues.

The Department of Justice did not block the merger outright but entered into a consent decree with Live Nation and Ticketmaster setting out stringent provisions for the newly merged entity to operate. Among others, the consent decree “prevents [Live Nation] from abusing [its] position in the primary ticketing market to impede competition.. ..”

But this did not deter Azoff from doing what the consent decree prohibited him from doing—coercing and bullying artists to do what he wants. He is flaunting governmental authority and disregarding the concerns that the DOJ had with the Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger. Because Azoff now controls all facets of the music industry—ticketing, promotion and artist management— he has an inordinate amount of power in the music industry. He can dictate the terms of any deal and sabotage an artist’s career if that artist does not do what he says.

Axl would also claim that one reason Azoff had been hired was to extract revenues from Activision:

In the course of negotiations, Azoff advised Rose that he has copyright infringement, fraud and other claims against Activision for the unauthorized and unlawful use of the song “Sweet Child o' Mine” in the promotion of Activision’s best-selling video game Guitar Hero 3. Activision made millions of dollars on the game. None of that money was shared with Rose. Azoff promised Rose that he would take care of pursuing those claims against Activision by filing a lawsuit or striking a deal with the company.


Azoff also did not pursue Rose’s claims against Activision and did not secure a deal with Activision for Rose.

And that Chinese Democracy had been released and streamed without Axl's final approval, resulting in flawed artwork and lower sales:

Rose had final approval of the artwork before the release of Chinese Democracy. However, Cross-Defendants and the record company authorized the album’s release without obtaining Rose’s final approval. Even the credits on the album were incorrect. Additionally, Cross-Defendants along with the record company authorized the streaming of Chinese Democracy without Rose’s consent and leaked its content on the internet. This damaged album sales.


Chinese Democracy had a very strong debut - number 3 on the Billboard 200 - selling 261,000 copies in its first week of sales. The record was number 1 in Europe. But because there was no promotional campaign by Azoff and Universal/Geffen Records in support of the album, sales slipped. As a result, the band lost substantial revenue in record and ticket sales as well as ancillary revenues associated with this iconic music group. Best Buy was the only store chain in the United States carrying the album. However, at the time of the album’s release, some of the stores did not even have the promotional displays because they were not delivered to the stores promptly. Azoff had a contractual and fiduciary duty to coordinate and manage the promotion of the album to maximize sales. He promised Rose that he would actively promote one of the most anticipated albums of the decade. But he did not, in violation of his promises and obligations.

Because of this alleged mismanagement, Axl claimed that they had suffered loss in excess of $5 million [Axl vs Azoff Counter-Lawsuit Documents, May 17, 2010].

The immediate reaction from Azoff's lawyer, Howard King, to Axl's claims:

He didn't accuse Irving of being on the grassy knoll in Dallas on November 22, 1963?

A minor point in the counter-lawsuit, section 41 of 68, of was Azoff using Axl's childhood name (William Bailey) in his lawsuit:

When Cross-Complainants would not acquiesce to his threats, Azoff filed a baseless lawsuit seeking commissions that he never earned. He named Rose personally in the lawsuit but not by his legal name “W. Axl Rose,” but by his adopted name “William Bailey.” “William Bailey” does not appear on any of Rose’s legal documents. Azoff knew that the name “William Bailey” carries significant emotional damage from Rose’s childhood as a result of numerous personal and confidential conversations he had with the singer. Azoff did this out of spite and vindictiveness to cause Rose emotional distress and harm.

Despite this being a minor point in the counter-lawsuit, it would be picked up by the salacious press and presented as a major point [TMZ, May 18, 2010; Rolling Stone, May 18, 2010].

The next day, a spokesman for Azoff would bring the following message from Azoff to the press regarding Axl's counter-suit, clearly playing on media's focus on the name aspect:

On advice of counsel I cannot respond at this time, but will discuss in my upcoming book My Life With William Bill Bailey.

Slash would be asked for a comment and despite not "know[ing] what that's about" suggest Azoff lawsuit was warranted while Axl's wasn't:

I don't even know what that's about. I don't know where Axl is coming from. I mean, I know where Irving is coming from — he's looking for commissions for a tour that he booked. [It's a] pretty reasonable kind of thing. Axl's countersuing, so I'm not sure exactly what the merit is that he's countersuing, exactly. Anyways, I don't keep up with that, I don't follow it.

During a deposition in July, Axl's lawyer Sasha Frid and Azoff got in a heated argument which culminated as Frid handed Azoff a copy of the Wall Street Journal after having asked Azoff about his role as chairman of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, resulting in Azoff throwing the newspaper back at the lawyer [Press-telegram, July 23, 2010]. The trial was set for April 26, 2011 [Press-telegram, July 23, 2010].

In October, Azoff would comment on Axl's counter-suit in an official answer, with 14 arguments against Axl's claims, including "the claims are barred by statute of limitations; there was a waiver; there was an accord and satisfaction; that Rose consented to Azoff's actions; that Rose failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate the damage; and that any harm that came to Rose was due to the singer's own negligence, fraud or misconduct" [The Hollywood Reporter, October 13, 2010].


In April 2011 it was reported that settlement efforts between Axl and Azoff had hit a sour note but that the lawyers would keep trying [Beverly Hills Courier, April 11, 2011]. Axl was not personally involved in the settlement talks [Beverly Hills Courier, April 11, 2011].

Then in June it was reported that Azoff and Azoff had settled "to the mutual satisfaction of the parties" [Beverly Hills Courier, June 14, 2011]. Although details of the settlement were not disclosed, Axl's lawyers would state that the final accord would involve "a comprehensive touring agreement in which Guns N' Roses would perform at various [...] venues" [Beverly Hills Courier, June 14, 2011]. In December 2011, The Los Angeles Times, who interviewed Axl, would provide additional details on the settlement:

[Axl's] current tour is part of a settlement agreement with former GNR manager (and Live Nation Entertainment executive chairman) Irving Azoff that dictated the band do a number of performances with Live Nation as the promoter, and Rose is worried that it's not being properly marketed.

And Axl would mention the settlement and the tour:

This whole tour is part of — it’s not like there’s a lot of money going to Live Nation or anything, but it’s part of how we worked out the settlement [with former manager and Live Nation exec Irving Azoff]. And I could have gone on to court, but that was going to block other things, so Live Nation's not getting paid, we’re not getting paid, but we’re putting it out of the way, so we did this tour.


In 2016, Azoff would be asked if he had tried to force a reunion:

I would never go to an artist and say, “I want you to reunite.” If he had asked me if I thought it was a good idea, I would have said yes. But by the way, nobody tells Axl to do anything. He does what he wants to do. Slash and Duff McKagan are terrific people. Axl is a complicated individual that I wish nothing but success for.

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:49 am

MAY 31-JUNE 14, 2010

The European leg of the Chinese Democracy World Tour started at Vestlandshallen in Bergen, Norway, on May 31, 2010.

BERGEN!!!  One of the most beautiful views from the plane (didn't have my camera, nooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  AAAHHHHH!!)
Twitter, May 27, 2010

5 slices of Norwegian pizza, 6 cups of coffee (wtf???) and I was ready to rehearse all day, lol. Felt SO good to get my hands back on the guitars, to sing the songs, and to throw everyone off bustin' out random obscure metal tunes in-between, haha! *Needed* that. Now I'm ready.

(I don't even drink
Twitter, May 29, 2010

bergen is beautiful. i've done nothng but walk around and think about nothing.
Twitter, May 29, 2010

Bergen is beyond beautiful, you can taste the history. The 7 mountains, the cobblestone streets, the fish markets, the architecture not to mention the people here are very generous and kind. As I look outside my coca-cola stained window, from me dropping the can before I had the chance to open it, I feel like I'm looking at a Bob Ross painting threw a distorted lens.
Twitter, May 29, 2010

Before the show, Bumblefoot would encourage audiences to keep treating the opening bands
nice and make them feel welcome:

A little something I've been meaning to write for a while... GNR's opening acts - they're our friends, they have our support, they're important to us, and they're *good* Smile I've seen a lot of opening acts take a beating from crowds at shows, and I appreciate that GNR fans make our bands feel welcome. Show's gonna be startin' soon - show *all* the bands what a great fkn crowd you are! Thanks!
Twitter, May 31, 2010

Danko Jones, who was opening for Guns N' Roses at the time, would praise Guns N' Roses and Axl specifically:

People would rather believe the worst than the best. He is the best I have toured with, and is a nice guy. [...] Axl does not give interviews, so most of it is about speculation and what people think they have heard. But it also gives him his own aura of mystery, and that can be a good thing for a musician. Jimi Hendrix neither tweeted nor blogged, and all we have are some green, grainy images. It increases the mystery. To me, Axl Rose is in that category. And that is why people want to see and hear him, because he is who he is.
Bergensavisen, June 1, 2010

According to reviews, the band started the show 2 hours and 10 minutes after scheduled start [NRK, June 1, 2010; Bergensavisen, June 1, 2010].

Tired fans
Bergen, May 31, 2010

Bergen, May 31, 2010

The band then continued to Oslo for a show at Oslo Spektrum, Oslo, Norway, on June 2.

too much fun and folly in oslo. green day and gnr in same hotel =madcap adventures and a weeee hangover. ooopsy
Twitter, June 3, 2010

Tusen takk Norge!  Fantastisk publikum!
Twitter, June 3, 2010

Then followed shows at Helsinki Live 2010 in Helsinki, Finland, on June 5 and a show in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 6.

great crowd in st.petersburg. had a fun night. looking forward to some hangtime in moscow...
Twitter, June 7, 2010

Another AMAZING CROWD tonight in St. Petersburg, Russia!! What a beautiful place this is!!! Heading to Moscow, Russia!!!!
Twitter, June 7, 2010

The band then did another show in Russia at the Olympijskiy Stadium in Moscow, on June 8.

Moscow, June 8, 2010

Bumblefoot and Tommy
Moscow, June 8, 2010

Another crazy night in Moscow, haha!  I feel fkn good, I'm lovin' this...
Twitter, June 11, 2010

The next show was at Sweden Rock Festival, in Sölvesborg, Sweden, on June 12.

Sweden Rock Festival
June 12, 2010

Sweden, June 12, 2010

The European tour ended with a show at Gigantium, Aalborg, Denmark on June 14.

After the tour, when asked what had been his best show with the band, Bumblefoot mentioned the show in Aalborg:

I think our best performance might have been the very last one in Aalborg Denmark. My perspective is different than the audience's, or other bandmember's, but for me something felt really good in every way at that show.

Something about the very last show we did, in Denmark. I don't know if anyone else would agree with me, but to me that was our best show. It just felt like a finely tuned machine on stage.

A lot of great shows, I think the show in Aalborg Denmark (June 14, 2010) was my favorite. It was just one of those shows where everything felt right, it felt like a fine-tuned machine.

To me, that was the best show we ever played! There are certain shows where you just can't connect and plug into what's going on, and you feel like you're not there, no matter what you try to do. It's this separation between your brain, your body, and your soul! But there was something about that last show we did in Aalborg – it just felt like a perfectly functioning machine. Everything seemed solid, and we seemed so in sync. It felt like the perfect show. We were as connected as we ever were. [...] I remember at one point I was on the ground, and it took me a while to get up! I remember thinking, "I need to sit here for a while", and the head of security came over and asked me if I was okay, and I just gave him the thumbs up – "just taking a breather!". And when you've got a 30 pound double neck guitar around your neck, it definitely wears you out a bit.

Excerpts of review by Mikkel Elbech in Gaffa Magazine:

Witnessing Axl Rose in front of the no longer so "new" Guns N 'Roses in Aalborg was a joy. He sounded better, looked better and radiated more sincere joy of playing than he has done for almost twenty years. The now well-known story about the old members who dropped out during the 90's, which is naturally followed up by the story of their replacements and the struggle to get the mildly long-awaited album, "Chinese Democracy", released the current tour has been given a long-awaited sentence. Not one of a kind that signals that the adventure is over, but instead one that marks the end of a 15-year process of transformation.


There were many highlights, not least the explosive opening consisting of "Chinese Democracy", which was immediately followed by "Welcome To The Jungle", which has otherwise been a regular opening number since 2001. The previously mentioned "This I Love" was strong positively surprising, while "Rocket Queen" - the closing track from "Appetite For Destruction" - sounded just as captivating and beautiful as it should at all. Seeing Axl Rose on top of the grand piano while it was operated by Dizzy Reed during "Street Of Dreams" obviously had great visual appeal, while the large fountains in front of the backdrop at the dramatic coda in "November Rain" were even more captivating. The epic "Madagascar" as the first extra number was well chosen, and when Flaming Lips went into it with massive confetti cannons during "Paradise City", it was rounded off with manners.

Overall, the concert thus served as a testament to the complete transformation that Axl Rose, through good and unfortunately abundant pain, has had to go through after the band that otherwise made up his life's work crumbled between his hands. [...]

However, once these things have been said, it remains only to state once again that yes, Axl Rose is the only worthy heir to the legendary band name. From the same signature as this, a four-star review was sent after Slash's performance to Copenhagen Live just twelve days before his former colleague's visit to Aalborg, and it was an honorable and all in all fine experience to witness Slash - but where that concert leaned closer at three than five stars, then this leans closer to six than four. Slash's teammates are just - with the exception of Myles Kennedy - some anonymously prominent, immediately easily replaceable musicians who do not seem crucial to how Slash under his high hat feels in the tuber. And Myles Kennedy is and will be - although he is certainly talented and has something to offer - a bit of an upstart when compared to Axl Rose, both in terms of vocal performance, expressive authenticity and general charisma. And should Slash be compared to DJ Ashba, Richard Fortus or Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, then they perform unusually much better in the replacement contest than Myles Kennedy does. Therefore - combined with the other reasons that have been presented here - Guns N 'Roses is rightly the name that Axl Rose attaches to himself and his band.
Gaffa Magazine, June 15, 2010; translated from Danish

Before the next leg of the tour commenced, Bumblefoot would be asked how it had been:

This has been the best touring I’ve ever been part of – the band has been solid, and the audiences have been fantastic! I never know what to expect when we go on tour, I don’t assume everything will be as I hope – but the fans always make it better than I expect…

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:50 am


Craig Duswalt, who was Axl's assistant during the Use Your Illusion tour, would talk about how meticulously Axl did his vocal exercises:

[...] before a show, Axl would warm up for an hour in the shower doing vocal exercises. He would get a massage, he would get adjusted by a chiropractor. He would tape up his ankles because he ran around so much. He prepared for two-and-a-half to three hours before a show. And then after each show he would go back into the shower and warm down his voice for a half hour.

In 2018, Richard would corroborate on this:

Yeah, and there's nights when, you know... But he's very disciplined with... You know, he does an hour warm up, he does a 40 minute cool down every night. Every night. You know, he's very disciplined with that.

In 2005, Dizzy would talk about how Axl's voice has changed and that he had become a stronger singer:

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

Axl, being asked how his singing is holding up:

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

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

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

And in 2011, he would comment on differences between how he and Axl warms up their voices:

That's the style called 'Bel Canto', if your readers want, they can Google that, get someone to teach them that style. But I also sing other things. I also sing like along to Journey and Judas Priest. I can remember I told Axl, I go: “Dude, sometimes I have to sing along to Journey to get my voice going up in that high-mid range, tenor”. He goes [in a spot-on Axl impersonation]: “Baz, if I had to sing to Journey records to get my voice going I'd quit the fucking music business” *laughs* But I was like: “O well!”
The AU Review, September 15, 2011

In June 2010, Tom Mayhue would give a tour of the backstage area at Sweden Rock Festival and present Axl's oxygen/humidifier equipment:

I will give you a quick little tour here of Axl's world. This is a very unique set-up, there's nothing like it in the world. This is his oxygen/humidifier system, and it helps get air back into his lungs. Get him going. And it's heated. It's almost like a little tea kettle [...]. He will spend a few minutes during the solos, things like that [...]

Later, in 2012, when asked why he leaves the stage so often, Axl would not mention the oxygen equipment:

Well I don't like to stand out there during the solos. I feel like an idiot just stand over at the side [waves arms], you know? There's that, I'll change clothes, you know... And anything that needs to be take care of whatever, figure out what we're doing, next song...

Axl would also take about the vocal exercises he does, like during the Use Your Illusion touring:

I have been taking care of my voice. I do warm ups before the show, I do warm downs after the show, I do those religiously.

And mention how hard it was to sing some of the old songs when asked if he had backed himself up in a corner when recording:

I did that with You Could Be Mine I couldn't... when I first time had to play You Could Be Mine like, "What did I do to myself? What have I done? I got to sing this now," you know. But I've noticed that, you know, other bands have a problem with, you know, that it's not too manly to be doing voice exercises and, you know, there's a lot of teasing or ribbing or annoying people and whatever, but you got to do what you got to do. It's like a guy can be exercising his fingers in the corner with his amp up and stuff and it's not really bothering anybody but going [does some voice exercises] is annoying everybody around.

In 2018, Richard would also mention Axl talking about how hard it was to sing some of his songs:

You know, it's funny because like Coma, like, he, when we started playing that, he was like-[...]  -at the end- [...] and he's like, "God damn it! Why did I do that to myself?" you know? Yeah, there's other songs that are just like so high and it's like, "Way to go! I fucked myself again," you know.

In 2011, Tommy would compliment Axl's work to still be able to sing the songs:

[...] [Axl] works really hard to put on a good show every night. He prepares a lot to be the best he can be, and I think that's commendable. This guy can still fucking wail.

And in 2013, Tommy would suggest Axl was better at singing now than before:

I think he's probably a better singer now than he probably was back in the day cuz I think he's gotten more used to working with his, you know, voice and stuff like that. And he's a lot stronger in a lot of ways.

In 2016, when Axl toured with AC/DC, he would talk about working with his vocal coach (likely Ron Anderson):

I do a lot of vocal exercises and actually on this particular tour I brought my voice coach out with- that I hadn't worked with in like twenty years. The Brian Johnson Back in Black stuff is really demanding, you know, sing it wrong and you might not be singing again. So…

Axl would also mention how he had deliberately changed his vocals, including for the recordings of Chinese Democracy:

For a while, like with Chinese, I was trying to get my voice a lot clearer. I feel like that maybe fans didn't… necessarily respond to that so much as well, sometimes, at shows and things but I think it was very good for me to be even better at what I am doing right now.

In 2018, Duff would praise all the singing technique Axl had added to his repertoire in the years since he last played with Axl back in the 1990s:

First time I ever saw him. Like, "Who the fuck is this guy?" You know, he's just gnarlier than the most punk rock guy. It's all real, gnarlier than the most metal guy. And it's all real. It's not a put on. It's like, when I first met him in what? '84, '85, whatever. Like, "Holy, he's more intense than Henry Rollins." And it was all real. I really dug that. And so flash forward to now. He's taken that realness of what he's always been but he's added shit ton of technique. And he's a master. The guy is a master vocalist. You know, I would look at him sometimes, "That was an impossible phrase without a breath."

And discuss the hard work Axl puts in with warm-ups and warm-downs and that there were no "surgeries" or "special guy" responsible:

But yeah, I mean, I don't know, he just works hard. He just works his ass off. He gets in the gym, I mean, his vocal warmups are hour and a half. [...] It's incredible. Like sometimes his room is near mine and I hear him start. It's like 6pm. And I'm just back from sound check or whatever, you know, if I happen to be back in the hotel. And he's... 7.30, finally ends, you know. And after the shows, he might have, you know, bite to eat, hang out, whatever. And then it's into the shower, hour and a half, he's at the venue. Until whenever. [...] He's just working hard. That's all I can see, there's no special guy out there, you know, surgeries or anything.

I had a lot of respect for us as a band as I was pre-rehearsing all this stuff [before the 'Not In This Lifetime' reunion tour]. And then when Axl came in to rehearse, and then when we played our shows… What he's done to his voice... The first time I saw him sing… I was this punk rock kid from Seattle, and I saw him in late '84. And he was like [Henry] Rollins — he had the intensity of Rollins, but he could sing. He had this dual-voice thing — he'd do a low and a high thing at once. Sure, he was born with certain gifts, singing-wise, but he works his ass off. He was doing vocal lessons, he was doing vocal warm-ups, warm-downs back then. And nowadays, when we go out and play, he starts his vocal warm-ups… He does an hour and a half of pure vocal warm-ups. And then we play three, three and a half hours. But the guy has become a master.

Watching Axl prepare for a show — an hour and a half [of] vocal warmups," Duff said (hear audio below). "And then when he goes onstage and just kind of the thing that comes over him… That guy couldn't phone in a gig… He couldn't do it. He would die first, I think; you would have to shoot him in the head. And then the hour-and-a-half warmdowns.

Singing those songs sitting down [after he broke his leg] ... I don't know if anybody out there listening is a singer ... I realised at that point, the guy has become a master. His warm-up regime -- an hour-and-a-half warm-up thing -- and being able to sing those songs sitting down. And then his warm-down routine. He'd become a master. And maybe he always was, and I didn't notice it before. But the amount of work he puts into a gig -- it's gym, warm up for an hour and a half, do a three-and-a-half-hour show, warm down ... I'm already in bed. But, yeah, for it to go ... We did 159 shows [at the Not In This Lifetime tour], I think.

I can't speak for him. I'll just tell you what I know about… what I've observed that's really made me work so much harder. His work ethic is… he's an animal. He's in the gym. He starts an hour and a half before the show, vocal warm-ups. We do a three-and-a-half-hour-long show. He broke his foot at the beginning of the tour. He had to do that show [at the Troubadour in April 2016] — he didn't say, 'Let's stop.' He said, 'Let's continue. I'll do it sitting down.' Just singing sitting down — I don't know if either of you are singers, but singing sitting down is super hard. He does an hour-and-a-half vocal warm-ups; he sings these shows; he does an hour-and-half warm-down. I'm already in bed reading my book, man — like, I'm done — and he's still warming down. I can hear him sometimes. And that makes me work harder. I get up; I go to the gym; I start playing my bass extra early; I'm doing vocal warm-ups. That guy's really chest-out, head-up… he's the real deal.


Ron Anderson, who had helped actors sing better for musicals, would talk about his time coaching Axl:

That was a great time. It was kind of nuts, but it was great. Axl Rose…can outsing all rock stars.
Palm Beach Post, June 13, 2012

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:50 am

JULY 27, 2010

1998-2005: "NO BED OF ROSES"

In February 1998 it would be reported that Steven was working on his biography [MTV News, February 3, 1998]. The book had the tentative title "No Bed of Roses" and would be co-written with his mother, Deanna Adler [MTV News, February 3, 1998].

Well, my buddy Brooke and I are working on it, but, it’s mostly me, when I feel it’s right, the motivation will come to me and everything will happen. I try not to push things to far and to fast ‘cause I just want everything to be right.

According to reports in mid-2002, Steven had refused an offer from a book company that "simply wanted Steven to trash the band" and "dig up dirt about each member" [Steven Adler Official Site, July 11, 2002].

The book would be described like this by Brooke Ellis who was the webmaster of Steven's official fansite:

Their story depicts the struggle of a family, chronicling Steven's life from his days as a child on the streets of LA,  his rise to fame as drummer for Guns N' Roses, his subsequent firing from the band, and the dismal, downward spiral into the seedy underworld of hard drugs that followed.

In 2005, Ellis, who would co-write the book and started working on the book in November 2001 [The GnR Syndicate, June 12, 2011], explained how the idea of a biography came about:

The funny thing is, it wasn't Steven's idea initially. It's really been the farthest thing from his mind as of late, what with his band doing so well...His mother Deanna, a truly wonderful woman, and his cool-as-hell brother Kenny, have been the motivating force behind getting the book out there. Knowing that I ran the Fansite, Deanna asked me to post that she was in need of a literary agent. I had become friendly with a writer/producer named Ray Herbeck, Jr.. In fact, he had helped guide my writing career and took an interest in my work early on. I felt that he could help her get in touch with the right people. He didn't believe that what they had written at the time was quite ready to be published - in fact it was only about a hundred pages - so he recommended me for the job. I had no idea, but then I got a call from Deanna, and the rest is history. As for how I had helped Steven, y'know back in the day, the guy was in a rock n' roll daze, always smiling, forever partying. He was living the lifestyle to the hilt. For him, a lot of it is a blur. I'm very familiar with the bands' history. I was able to get him to talk about specific events, in chronological order. I also did some investigating, unearthing stories that even the most learned fan has never heard! Some are disturbing, some are hilarious!
MetalShrine, March 2005

Ellis would also describe the status of the book in 2005:

I'm not sure exactly what's happening right now. Remember I said that the family had already written quite a bit before I was brought on? Well, what was actually completed was Deanna's story, her life dealing with her troubled son. She witnessed the whole ordeal. She watched her son achieve fame and fortune and then dealt with his subsequent spiral into a drug induced abyss. Y'know, getting the calls in the middle of the night, telling her that Steven has OD'd or is in jail. She also writes of the last time Steven saw his father, and the violent circumstances therein. It's all very interesting, intense stuff. Well, my assignment was just to get Stevens' story. I guess they felt it would be best to leave it up to the publisher on how they want to work the two stories in with each other. That could be a potential cause for the delay. Personally I'd like to do it for them. In fact, since the book has been completed, so much has happened! Plus, Steven has so many great new stories that could to be included.
MetalShrine, March 2005

And in 2011, Ellis would talk amore about how he became involved:

Yeah, very early on he talked about the book. On my own accord, I wrote a few pages about his OD in San Francisco. He read it and said, “This is exactly what I would say if I could write like this.” But his mom was in the driver’s seat and it was another year or so before she hired me officially. They had, like, maybe three other writers take a crack at it. Nobody could make it happen. Even one of his best friends took a shot at it and didn’t get it done. [...] I knew that band like no other, or few others. You know how there are people out there who really know their stuff about Elvis and the Beatles? That’s how I was about GNR. So, unlike the previous would-be authors, I was able to ask the necessary obscure questions, “How did Vicki Hamilton come into the picture?” “How did West Arkeen start writing with the band?” “How did you feel about tripping on the drum riser on live TV at Farm Aid?” - you get the idea
The GnR Syndicate, June 12, 2011

In 2005, the book still had the working title of "No Bed Of Roses":

It is tentatively entitled, "No Bed of Roses" coming soon to a bookstore near you!
MetalShrine, March 2005

And explaining the name of the title and that another author had been involved previously:

I believe that was Steven and Deanna [who came up with the name]. They had the name for years now, in fact I think they had a different author working on it back in like '95. But that fell through, completelty, though.
MetalShrine, March 2005


In 2002, Slash's official page would claim that an early version of Steven's book contained claims that Steven and Slash had prostituted themselves, something Slash denied he had done [, July 19, 2002].

In 2006, Steven would be asked about these passages in his forthcoming book:

That’s not in my book. [...] When I was 12, 13 years old, I grew up in Hollywood, off Santa Monica Boulevard and Fairfax. [...] Okay, Santa Monica Boulevard is a gay neighborhood. Where people, pick up, where guys will pick up guys. So, you know Slash, I lived on Hayworth, North Hayworth, and Slash lived on Sweetzer. So there was a couple times I’d walk down the street and I got a blow job from some guy. I was thirteen years old, I use to walk around with a fucking hard-on, and you know 24 hours a day. And I, was, you know you’re a teenager, and you’re not getting girls doing it. And so I was partying with somebody, and I got a blow job. I was thirteen years old, I was, WHAT! I’m the only one? [...] o, I know, but for the people reading this, that, if, people say, oh well that never happened to me or I never thought that, or blah, blah, blah, you know they’re fucking full of SHIT! Cause I’m not the only person who ever walked down the street and smoked a joint at 12, 13 years old, smoked a joint with someone and all of a sudden I’m getting a blow job from the guy. Okay, it’s not something I was looking for, it just happened – I was a teenager growing up. There’s nothing wrong with it. You know, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s ever had that happen to. [...]  I love woman. Dude, I was 13 years old, I couldn’t get a woman to suck my dick.

When asked if he had ever wanted to have sex with men:

(pauses) You know, not in, not in a lot of years. You know, not, (pauses) like the young teens, you know what, no, but, in the younger teenage years I was all; “yeah I wouldn’t mind if this guy sucked my cock!” [...] You know, but now you know, I, I love the girls, I love the pussy, I hate woman, I hate girls, as long as their mouth has a cock in it, or it’s taped up with a pair of panties in it.

After the release of the book, an interviewer would say he had interpreted a passage in the book as Steven being raped, something Steven denied happened:

No. No. I wasn't raped. That's not in there, is it?

The interviewer would then mention a story from the book involving some guys which could be interpreted as Steven being abused, to which Steven replied:

Now you're bringing back old memories back to me, I'll get depressed in a second.

The interviewer then quoted from the book: "We arrived at this dumpy little apartment. There was another guy there, only he was in his 40s. A completely scruffy-looking loser. Right away, I felt uneasy. Something wasn't right. This guy …" to which Steven responded:

Oh man. Oh yeah. Now I think I'm depressed. Yes, of course, now that you mention it … I guess it was one of those memories that I try to stuff up. But now that you bring it up, I'm gonna cry. Thank you very much [laughs].


You're young. You're living in Hollywood. And things like that happen. You never expect anything like that to happen. … It's something I just had to take it and get stronger.

In an interview a few days later, Steven would talk about how easy it had been to open up about having been abused:

The parts in the beginning with the sexual abuse, I thought it was going to be really difficult for me to talk about and tell another person, have their ears actually hear those words. But it was the complete opposite; it felt so good to get it out and people understood, and there's a lot of people who can relate to it, and that was very important. I wear my heart on my sleeve in this book.

And later he would say he had talked about being abused as therapy:

It was keeping me from moving on with my life. With the drugs and alcohol, I'd keep relapsing because I'd take care of one problem, but not the main problem. It's not an easy thing to say, and I thought if I said those words out loud, people would think bad of me. But it was the complete opposite. They understood and cared, and I felt relieved.

Brooke Ellis claimed to have been the one who got Steven to open up about his sexual abuse:

And I knew something was wrong was in his past, and I treated it sensitively. I worked up slowly to asking if he ever suffered any kind of abuse as a child, and he confided in me. Always after that, he wanted that part taken out. I said, “Dude, it explains a lot. It needs to stay in.” I promised I’d treat it with care. I don’t think he’d ever tell a guy like Larry, a relative stranger, such personal things. So, it’s a surprise to see him open up with that disclosure in nearly every book interview he does now. I think it’s more just like, “OK, just get this out of the way first,” but kudos to him for addressing it head on.
The GnR Syndicate, June 12, 2011

In 2017 he would again recount the abuse story:

It’s West Hollywood, there’s always guys trying to pick you up, it was the 70’s. I used to hang out at the Rainbow and the Starwood and stuff like that, and one night this older teenager I was hanging with drugged me, and I ended up getting sexually abused by these two guys.

I was like 13 years old, and I couldn’t talk about that forever, but it was something deep inside that hurt me. Once I talked about that in my book, you wouldn’t believe how many people have come up to me and said, ‘You talking about that made me able to talk about it.’


In 2005, Steven would hope the book would be out by the summer:

I have a book that's hopefully coming out in summertime too. About my experiences and my extravaganzas. Growing up with Slash and... [...] it's called "Our (?) lives no bed of roses" and that title will give you an idea. It has some good stuff and some happy moments and some sad moments too. Like pretty much everybody's life!

[When asked if he has a bood deal]: No, but I got a publishing lawyer who's working on publishing...

When asked if he wrote the book himself or had someone help him:

No, I wrote it already, it's done! A friend of mine, Brooke Ellis, he runs my website and he was so great. This guy followed me around for fifteen or twenty years and knew dates. I was asking questions and he'd go, "That was March 15 1987!". And I was, "How do you know that? It's my life and I don't even know that!" So it was very easy and a great guy to be around with. And I don't put anybody down! Everybody knows in GN'R or from GN'R who is a jackass and who isn't a jackass.

In 2007, Steven was still working on the book:

Yeah, I have a book. I’m still working on it, a little touching up here and there, little things that keep popping back up in my head that I remember. So, hopefully by Christmas we’re gonna have something with that.

And in 2009 it was almost done:

It’s almost completed, it should be out by late January of next year. Basically it takes Slash’s book, Nikki Sixx’s book and puts everything together as one. Because we were all together – we’ve known Nikki forever – so if you read his book and you read Slash’s book and when you read mine, everything, all the pieces of the puzzle will be put together. That’s how it works, and yeah, it’s very exciting.


The book would be credited as being co-written with Lawrence J. Spagnola, and Steven would describe how they had collaborated:

We had probably ten meetings. I would have him meet me, we'd go for lunch and we'd talk just like me and you.

To help Steven with memories, his friend, Steve Sprite, would contribute:

Well my friend Steve Sprite, somebody who I've known for twenty-five years, a wonderful gentleman [was involved]. One rare person who never took anything from me, or wanted anything from me. He was my friend. He was there to help me. He was with me through so many experiences, through so many rehabs and jails and car accidents. He wasn't doing drugs with me, he was kind of just there watching because he cared about me...So he has a lot of the memories that reminded me of those times, so I can remember them and tell them how I saw them. Or during those times when I was passed out on the street and had no idea what was going on...he was there to remind me.

As mentioned above, Brooke Ellis had also been involved, but was not credited. Ellis would describe the process and Spagnola's [=Larry's] involvement:

Yeah, [the book] was mine, and here’s the thing, it was never completed to my satisfaction. I wasn’t getting paid except for $100 per day when I was actually interviewing Steven, which amounted to roughly $1,500. Sometimes when I’d go to interview him, I couldn’t get anything out of him. Plus, I was working a full-time job, and I had my life. So it took over a year for that initial draft, and when I handed it in, they considered it done. No one cared about the quality of the book. It had been essentially five years since they announced a book was coming, now it’s finally getting written, they can’t wait any longer? I was even encouraged to “Just make it up!” In fact, my entire last chapter is all me. Not a word from Steven’s mouth, and it’s still in there. They wanted it wrapped up! So it pisses me off when Jamie tells me “We couldn’t get a deal without Larry attached to it!” To which I replied, “Based on what?” The bottom line was that Larry had the industry resources to make a deal happen. So, give him a broker’s fee, right? No, they happily intended to give him my authorship regardless of how I felt. They were also shopping my manuscript and Deanna’s autobiography. They had a condition that the two be woven together. In my opinion Jamie was clueless. I told him, “dude, you get an advance, they assign an editor, and it’s a process!” But he was always arrogant, always had to be the big man on campus. Steven once told me, “Slash never liked Jamie.” If that’s true, I’m in good company.

But yeah, they just wanted the money. Nobody cared about any integrity for the project. So, what happens? Larry spends a year with an editor, dressing up my initial rough draft, and it’s still my work, nearly verbatim. Larry edited it and added some goofy shit; blatantly made up. For instance he wrote about Steven talking in-depth about reading the Mott the Hoople book. Ask Steven the name of that book, he never read it! Thats’s Larry. When I was still onboard, I valued our friendship, and didn’t want to make waves. So, when Steven asked me go over Larry’s pages for accuracy, I did, and I immediately got pissed off, “All he’s doing is editing this poorly!” Larry added some goofy made-up shit, like Steven telling Slash about a sexual encounter (with a girl) and Slash saying “I just remembered I have to go” and he runs off to jack off! Are you kidding me, Larry?! That’s what you bring to the table?! I have the pages! I told him,“dude, the last thing Steven needs is to piss Slash off with a made-up story.” The bottom line was that nobody cared about producing a good or true book.

If I had some advance money, and that extra year, with a Harper Collins editor, no less, the book would have been one of the greats. No doubt. These days, I make my living as a writer. I’ve contributed quite often to Classic Rock Magazine, it doesn’t get bigger than that for rock journalism. Mick Wall once contacted me and asked me to contribute two stories to the Slash Special Edition. I did and that was awesome. Strangely enough, I haven’t been able to find anything Larry has published. He just took the book further away from Steven’s personality.
The GnR Syndicate, June 12, 2011

For more on this, see further down in this chapter.


In February 2010, a release date of June 22 was announced [Blabbermouth, February 17, 2010] but the actual release date became July 27, 2010 [Ultimate Guitar, July 28, 2010].

Before the release, Steven would talk about how the work with the book had rewarded him:

It's so healing, getting all those things out of my system. You can't take 30 years of pain and all that stuff and just get rid of it immediately, but at least I'm starting to get it out and I'm starting to become my own person again. I wasted so much of my life, it's great to have survived and be living again.

He would also mention how he hoped his former band mates would read the book:

I'm sorry that it went the way it did [when he got fired from GN'R]. But I'm grateful for the experience we had. I'm glad the five of us are still alive. And I'm hoping those goofballs read my book, especially Axl. I'm hoping he'll see what a special thing we have. It takes time for all wounds to heal. And there's been enough time. We were five brothers, and all of Axl's managers and lawyers can never take away what he have.

Steven Adler
My Appetite For Destruction

My book came out when I was on tour so I read the book on the bus and after two hours of reading I was even like, "Wow, what the fuck am I going to do next?" I think Larry [Spagnola] and I did a really great job. Then, I came home from tour and I built a big fire in the fireplace and tossed the book in.

Being asked how he could remember so many details about his sexual encounters:

Believe it or not, it came from memories and from the girls and people themselves. I would go to them and say "I know something crazy happened." Basically the people who the stories are about, I would go to them and say "Tell me what happened."


In the introduction to the book, Steven wrote, "people love train wrecks" and after the release he would be asked if his story was that of a train wreck:

A very successful train wreck. If you're going to do something, do it right. Definitely it was a major train wreck. Of course it didn't start off that way, but when you're doing drugs and drinking and hanging out with the wrong people, it's bound to turn into a crash.


When discussing why he wrote the book, Steven would point out the therapeutic effects of opening up:

For me it was somethin’ that is helping me because if you keep things bottled up inside and stuff ‘em down and you don’t let it out, it becomes dangerous and very self-destructive. You need to let these things out and you’re able, I’m speaking as me, to move on and to have a life again. I’ll keep on pondering about the past and I think it’s very important to get things out and not keep them stuffed down.

There are some really devastating things in the book, and getting those things out and actually reading the thing once I got them out made me realize I could move on with my life.

Working on the book, I did my crying and yelling and pounding on the wall and throwing bricks through the windows. Whatever it took to get those emotions out of me and onto the page, that’s what I did to heal.

Writing the book was emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually healing. I got to put everything in my life on paper. At the beginning of the book I talked about hanging out in nightclubs as a teenager and getting sexually abused by older men. I thought that if I said those words out loud I would feel worse and people would think bad of me. It was the complete opposite. It was like a huge weight was lifted off of me. Now the setbacks are behind me and it's my opportunity to move forward.

Doing that book was so enjoyable to me. For one, I had been working on that book for eight years, and I couldn't get it together until I started working with Dr. Drew. I had to take responsibility for actions in my life and everything that's happened. I got to make amends with Slash, Izzy and Duff, my mother, my old girlfriends -- even a girlfriend from when I was 15 years old. Once I made amends, it was so easy to write the book. I don't blame anyone. I don't say anything negative in the book about anyone. When I was done with the book, it came out, I read it, I built a big fire in my fireplace, and I threw that book in the fireplace. That symbolized for me to leave my past alone, and now I'm living for today and for the future.

It’s nice to help people with something you are doing. I wrote it, so I could get my story out of my system. I was very honest, I took full responsibility for everything that’s happened in my life with the band, with GNR and those guys, and basically you know what I did? I wrote the book, I was honest and all that, then I got home, I built a big fire in my fireplace and I threw it in the fireplace and I burned it. That’s my past, I want to move on and right now I live for right now, today, and believe in the future.


No, I haven’t [red it yet]; I’ve been with him through the whole process of writing it. I plan on reading it on the bus coming up. Every time I start to read it, Steven tells me, “It’s really dark.” I’m like, I know, I was there.

First and foremost my thoughts are for physical and mental health for Steven. I sincerely hope that he stays as physically and mentally healthy as he can. That’s my wish for him. [...] I don’t think Steven wants closure. I think Steven wants his youth back. I think Steven wants the magic of that moment and heyday to be recreated which, of course, is absolutely not going to happen. Everybody’s older and moved on and in the extraordinarily unlikely event in which the band actually did a reunion – it would be different. You cannot re-live the past and you should, at least in a creative endeavour, have one foot in the present. If Guns N' Roses were to re-unify, I personally would dearly hope that it would be substantiated by valid and new creativity in the studio with a new record and that it wouldn’t just live off the past.

I read Slash's [biography] to have an idea what I might be facing then, but haven't read anyone else's.


As mentioned previously, Steven's friend and webmaster of Steven's webpage, Brooke Ellis had been involved in writing early versions of the book but was not credited. In 2011, Ellis bitterly posted on GN'R fansites:

"I am the TRUE AUTHOR of Steven Adler’s Tell-All”

Steven Adler is well-known for his years of whining and complaining about how he was kicked out of Guns N’ Roses. How all the people he thought were his friends turned their backs on him, and how management and the guys in his band, his “brothers”, got him to sign away his rights.

These claims make it all the more distasteful as such injustices are exactly what he inflicted upon me. And I never would have believed it. It was I who wrote his book, “My Appetite for Destruction”, then named, “No Bed of Roses”, back in 2003.


When he’d ask me to do outrageous things such as put his nail clippings on eBay or sell signed DVR’s at $100 a pop, I refused. It is no small satisfaction to see the negative feedback Adler currently gets at how his web presence is handled, particularly when he was selling “Fan Experience Packages” (lunch with Steven, $7500!?).

During my tenure, I’ve seen no less than a half dozen management teams & new official websites come and go. The last group of people I worked with really had a yen for power. Among them, one in particular I had known for months by the time business with the book was getting into high gear. I received an email from her with an attachment, stating to the effect of, “here’s your book contract, when can you come in and sign it?”

This was a surprise, I was never given any hint that she was involved with our book dealings. In fact, I was further dismayed to see just how many new hands were in the ‘book pie’ – and that they intended to pay me after each newcomer’s commissions! Needless to say, the contract gave me no rights and I refused to sign.

I had initially signed on in 2002. The contract was with Steven’s mother, Deanna, for a fee of $10,000 upon publishing. In 2003, I renegotiated, and signed a contract for 10% of all book earnings ‘received from Adler’ plus the credit ‘by Steven Adler with Brooke Ellis’. It was Deanna’s intent to find a publisher to combine her own memoir with Steven’s book. A few years had passed and she failed to secure a deal (I need to say that I hold nothing against Deanna Adler, and I am sorry to mention her here).

In 2007, I was told by Steven’s brother, Jamie, to sign a Release of Authorship, which retained only my 10% interest. I refused, and was told, “It’s this or nothing. If you contest this we will fight you hard, and you’ll lose, etc…” I didn’t have money for lawyers!

I was further told that writer Larry Spagnola was going to weave Steven and Deanna’s stories together. I appreciated what a task that would be. They attempted to pacify me with the reassurance that I would have a special acknowledgement in the book, complete with a picture. I signed reluctantly, under duress & without counsel. Meanwhile, Deanna had forged Steven’s signature on the notarized contract.

Unbeknownst to me, Steven had previously sued his mother. Estranged from her since 2007, by ’09, with his new representation he had gotten out of book contracts that Deanna signed on behalf of him – on the grounds that she did not have power of attorney to do so. I breathed a HEAVY sigh of relief! I learned that Larry Spagnola had brokered a “big deal” with Harper Collins which they still wanted, now without the mother’s involvement or added story.

The 2009 “agreement” emailed to me was almost identical to the 2007 one, with the addition of an open-ended “after expenses” clause (tacked on to the stipulation of my 10% interest). Angered, I called Steven and said, “Don’t let them fuck me!” he said he would “never let that happen!”, and was shocked to learn my name wouldn’t be on the book, “There wouldn’t even be a book without you!” he shouted. He told me to “go ahead and make your own contract”. That was the last time I spoke to him. His number was quickly changed and none of our mutual friends would return my calls.

Utilizing what money I had, I acquired the services of a literary attorney. Steven’s lawyers tried to tell her that all I had done was transcribe interviews. She had the original fleshed-out chaptered manuscript and told them so. Then they tried to say it was poorly written, she told them it WAS NOT! She made some headway. A perplexing conversation with Mr. Spagnola revealed that he maintained a bitter sense of entitlement to my work, and was stressed over the matter.


Therefore, they are using my work with NO VALID CONTRACT. The book has since been released and I have not received a penny. The book, meanwhile, is very much in the form of my initial draft (I had always planned to develop it further), fully edited with a few extra pages added.

My name is changed to “Chuck” in stories that feature me. For the record, much of the real ‘dirt’ had been taken out.
From the opening segue into the first chapter, “Let’s start from the beginning, so we can see how things began to unravel until they got so fucked up” (the gist of which I borrowed from the opening narration of the 1999 movie, Tart) to the closing line, “It’s gonna take a lot more than that to spoil my appetite!” (a cliché phrase I was actually embarrassed over), it’s all me.

I can tell you exactly what came from the 20 hours of audio I have with Steven, what facts came from an existing book, magazine or TV interview – or what I just made up! Ultimately, it was my aim to paint a sympathetic portrait of the man. You’ll notice there’s not much in the novel accounting for the years 2003 – 2009. These are the scant few pages Larry actually contributed.

I always appreciated Steven’s friendship greatly, and we had been through a lot together. But he allowed this injustice against me. He let his people trample and humiliate me.

He is a backstabber of the highest order. Many people have attested publicly that he is not a good person. I always defended him. Then I learned just how right they were. In fact, given the seedy element he associates with, I wonder if I should fear for my safety after this comes out. It’s been me alone against his army. They ganged up and treated me like shit to maximize their potential cuts.

Sadly, it is Lawrence Spagnola with the last laugh. He has credit for a New York Times Bestseller he did not write, and (as it was he who brokered the Harper Collins deal) the lions-share of profits and a strong contract to protect him. I will never cease in my mission to expose him for what he is, a THIEF who STOLE my work and took credit for it.

I’ve done everything in my power to resolve this matter peacefully. I told them I’d sign their contract if they simply got rid of the open-ended after-expenses clause.

They refused! I may have reluctantly gone along with it all, settled for the special acknowledgement – I didn’t want to make waves, or jeopardize my friendship with Adler – but I was not going to allow them to exploit me further by finding new ways to screw me! They saw this as an OPPORTUNITY.

They appealed to Steven’s tampered sensibility by making exaggerated and defamatory claims, saying I was “crazy” and making “unreasonable demands”. Ultimately, they knew I didn’t have the resources to fight this, so they kicked me when I was already down, over and over for the last two years. Recently, I was told that this New York Times Best Seller which has been re-issued in paperback, did not make back it’s advance and there was no money coming to me. I’ve had it. This is my attempt at setting the record straight. I never wanted to go public with this, but Steven hasn’t seen fit to make this right, and I have no choice. I have retained a new lawyer, an aggressive fellow by the name of Michael Lotta, and we are taking this to court.

This has been hurtful and stressful. Adler robbed me. People are lucky if they get one big break, and this was mine. A saving grace has been my own music passion project, “Vintage Quixotic” (New music for Old Hollywood) which, to my satisfaction, proposes more talent than Adler ever will have with his clumsy drumming.
HTGTH, May 28, 2011

After this attack on Steven, Ellis would be interviewed by the GnR Syndicate.

When asked to elaborate on Steven's hilarious attempts at earning money from selling nail clippings:

Well, yeah, he definitely had grand ideas of the kind of money he could earn off of his name. I don’t want to get into personal stuff, or anything that doesn’t relate to the book fiasco. There’s so much I could say. Steven gravitates toward people with ideas on how to make money off him. That’s why so many of them have come and gone, almost always ending badly. Many of the people that gave me such a hard time with the book are already gone! He didn’t have control of his own money for a long time, so he had some lean times there. He was even on an allowance for years. Heck, I think his brother Jamie benefited from Steve’s earnings more than he did. Nice cars, lavish lifestyle, he might even have more GNR platinum awards than Steven!
The GnR Syndicate, June 12, 2011

And on Steven shunning him:

Well, when his people learned that he told me to “make my own contract”, they must have saw his talking to me as a liability, because they orchestrated a blackout. I believed, or wanted to believe, that Adler was in the dark about this. But when I saw him at NAMM in 2010, I waved, “Stevie!” and I could see he wasn’t happy to see me. I was devastated. How lame, huh? I just turned and walked away and right into Matt Sorum, of all people. I had just interviewed Matt over the phone a few weeks prior, so I smiled and introduced myself. But how weird, huh? Anyway, Steven goes promoting the book with lies, telling he wrote the book with Larry “over lunch” or that Slash helped him write it, then I knew he was onboard with betraying me.
The GnR Syndicate, June 12, 2011

And that he intends to sue Steven:

As far as Adler is concerned, he’s a dumbass who had people influencing him with their agenda. I mean, ultimately he has the last word, but he’s in his own world. I’m going to sue him, but somehow with him, it’s hard to hold a grudge. He simply doesn’t get it. I think his attitude is it’s his life I wrote about, so why am I owed anything? He just wants to smoke weed and watch TV, y’know? He just wants others to take care of his business which gives them plenty opportunity to exploit matters.
The GnR Syndicate, June 12, 2011

Ellis did not sue and in 2017 it seems like he was starting to get over it:

Yeah, it’s pretty messed up. Every now and then I’ll just get that pang of loss. It never went to court. They did start paying me but nowhere near what Lawrence Spagnola made off of my work.

In fact, I received a small check recently. A couple years back there was a discrepancy with the payments and I reached out to Steven’s wife. To my surprise she was very gracious and got it all worked out immediately. That’s when I felt maybe there’s really no bad blood - it was just the people around us.

A few months ago a friend of mine saw Steve somewhere and put him on the phone with me. He was super nice. He said I was still one of his ten favorite people, so I think I can say we’re good. It is what it is.
mygnrforum, Oct. 21, 2017


Deanna Adler's biography, Sweet Child Of Mine: How I Lost My Son to Guns N' Roses (formerly "No Bed Of Roses"), which was originally intended to be fused with Steven's biography, was released in 2017. Before the release of the book, Deanna would start a blog where she would discuss the upcoming book and Steve. IN one of the blog posts she would comment on how Steven's had portrayed her in his book:

If you would ask any mother about raising her children, she would probably say each child is different! Each one has his or her own personality. In my case, my three Sons are as different as day and night. In Steven’s book my appetite for destruction, he made me seem like the meanest mother in the world! I would like you to read my story Sweet Child of mine and know my side of the story. I think every mother will relate to my story and feel that they are not alone anymore in their struggles in regard to raising their sons or daughters. I have made lots of mistakes as we all do and I cannot change the past but I know one thing, I’m going to make every day that I have left the best that I can.
Dianna Adler's blog, May 15, 2012[/url]

Steven would not read the book:

Oh, I can't read it. I won't read it (laughs). I read my book and I threw it in my fireplace and I said that's my past. Now is the second chapter of my life. My mom's book, if you look at the back cover - just read the back cover - and you'll understand why I can't read it (laughs). Trust me, if you read the liner notes you will go ah, okay, I get it. Now I see why he won't be able to read that (laughs).

In 2018, Deanna would accompany Adler's Appetite on your to promote her book [see later chapter].


It’s coming out on paperback May 17th, though the originally hard cover has been out since last summer. I’m really excited about it; ya know my book actually got to the point where it’s a paperback. From what I hear not every book gets past its original hardcover format, so if it does good then it gets paperback! True story, about a month ago I was here at Canters and some young lady comes up to me and says “Hey Steven, I’m reading your book!” She then shows me her cell phone, she was reading my book on her cell phone, technology, ahh I love it! Wow, so now I know I’ve made it (laughs)! It’s kinda like when we went gold with GN’R, then platinum, wow we felt like we had made it. Well actually just getting a record deal felt like making it, and now for a second time in my like with my book, I get to say I’ve made it!

It was such a great release to get all those things and emotions out. It really helped me to move on with my life. That's one thing I did learn in AA. Just being able to get your feelings out is very therapeutic. And plus there's thing that happened when we were younger; we think we're the only ones [that went through it]. I was talking about the sexual-abuse thing; I was thirteen years old. Obviously, that bothered me my whole life. Once I worked with Dr. Drew and I talked about it with people that understood and weren't gonna judge me… Which, nobody judges you anyway, but you think [they will]. I was able to get off the heroin and the crack, working with Dr. Drew. And then I still resentments toward my old band. And once I was able to work through that…

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:51 am

AUGUST 13, 2010

The band's sole US' show in 2010 would take place at the Rock N' Rev fest in Sturgis, South Dakota, USA, on August 13, 2010, with Alice in Chain as co-headliner.

Bumblefoot would comment on playing at Rock N' Rev before the show started:

We’re playing with Alice In Chains. It’ll be totally cool. Hopefully, we won’t be pelted with (literal) buffalo chips (laughs). It’s our only US show and then we’re flying off to Europe. We’ll play Europe for about two months. We’ll play the UK, Serbia, Croatia, Spain and then we’ll see what happens after that. We have a one-off in Australia at the Telstra Sydney 500 V8 Supercars in December.

I always love seeing Alice in Chains. Definitely looking forward to that, hell yeah.

Bumblefoot would also be asked about any additional shows in the US in 2010:

I hope so, but right now that looks like all we've got. I guess we'll see what happens after that. Right now it's just looking like we're playing in Europe, then we have a one-off in Australia, and we'll see what happens. Hopefully in 2011.


The show was marred by a late start and angry people in the audience throwing beer cans and insults at the band. Fans attending the show would mention Bumblefoot looking uncomfortable throughout the show and actually leaving the stage for 3-4 song [User "tHeElEcTrIcSiNtAr" on HTGTH, August 15, 2010; User "eze" on HTGTH, August 15, 2010]. Bumblefoot would later comment on the show not being good for him:

There are times when I feel like I'm with family and we're a strong machine, and there are other times when I think “I'm in the wrong band, I shouldn't be here, this doesn't feel right.” I always say not to overthink, it's easy to think yourself into a bad place. But when business and other issues are breaking you down, you become vulnerable. And it adds fuel to the dark side. And I end up having a very polarized time with it, I feel the extremes. Two shows ago, it felt like the best show we ever did. The last show I had to walk off the stage in the middle, I couldn't fight my fucking rage and needed to cool down before letting it take over.

Bumblefoot would later talk about sometimes being so angry on stage that he had to walk off to cool down, possibly Sturgis being one such show:

I mean, we are all human and there are times when I’m just feeling really foul! (laughs) There’s time when we are getting on stage so late and the audience has not been entertained at all for like two hours and so they are all angry and upset. I’m angry and upset with them. There are times when I just can’t let it go and there have been a couple of shows when I was really fucking pissed off on stage. Sometimes I even had to walk off and cool off to calm down because I was just going to fucking freak out. I found out the way to resolve that for me, because it’s not something that I am going to be able to change and it isn’t helping anyone as they are just watching some angry miserable guy on stage, it’s not like “well we waited for two hours to see the band and now we get to see the band but the band is pissed off”, we have to give them a great show. I found that half a shot of Jägermeister before I go on stage and I am the happiest motherfucker in the world! (laughs).
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:52 am


In addition to Bumblefoot leaving the stage while in Sturgis on August 13, 2010, there were other indications that he was not happy being in the band.

Already in 2008, he would mention having problems combining his own career with the GN'R touring schedule which was difficult to plan for with plans often being cancelled in the last minute. After releasing his solo album Abnormal in 2008, he would be asked if he planned to support the release:

Maybe, it depends on if Guns goes on the road or not. I don't want to book a solo tour, and then have to cancel it when Guns gets busy. It has happened twice in 2006 and 2007. So I am a little reluctant to commit to touring because of that, but whenever I can, I would like to.

The conflict of interest continued into 2010:

So many times when I make my own plans, there's a last-moment change in GNR's schedule and I have to cancel my plans. I've had to cancel tours, clinic tours, all kinds of things. The only things I plan now are meet-n-greets, things that are free to go to and a smaller investment to organize. This way if something goes wrong, there's less damage. But even something as simple as a meet-n-greet, it was almost impossible for me to make the last ones I scheduled happen – GNR changed their plans and I had to stay in different cities than the rest of the band, it was a lot of chaos on my end. It's been getting harder for me to get on that stage - if I'm gonna make it through the next tour I'm gonna have to simplify my world.

[...] I have the potential to do more, but it's made very difficult for me to do because with GN'R everything happens at the last moment. I can't make plans for things if we're going to suddenly be staying in a different city and I find out hours before. It fucks everything up. I dealt with that the last tour where I made all these meet and greets and in order to keep them going it was really difficult because suddenly our itinerary changes, and it changed in a way where I would have had to cancel them. And I wouldn't, so I always wound up staying in different cities than the rest of the band and traveling at different times and it was really tough.

With this next tour I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do anything because I'm at a loss. I want to, but I can't if I don't know where I'm going to be. And it sucks, because to me you have that opportunity finally. We're going to be in this city, and there are all these fans there, and the ones who really give a shit, the ones who would come out to a meet and greet to say hi, the ones that are going to be in the front row and singing every word. It'd be great to meet these people and to get some personal time together where we could just hang out, shake hands, take pictures, and whatever. I like doing that and then seeing them at the show and waving to a face that I know, and that I just met. It's just a personal connection.

And he would talk more about how he fit into the band:

There are times when I feel like I'm with family and we're a strong machine, and there are other times when I think “I'm in the wrong band, I shouldn't be here, this doesn't feel right.” I always say not to overthink, it's easy to think yourself into a bad place. But when business and other issues are breaking you down, you become vulnerable. And it adds fuel to the dark side. And I end up having a very polarized time with it, I feel the extremes. Two shows ago, it felt like the best show we ever did. The last show I had to walk off the stage in the middle, I couldn't fight my fucking rage and needed to cool down before letting it take over.

It feels more 'real' now, ya know? I don't feel like a guest in this, I feel like I'm home. Haha, it may be a wacked out fucked up dysfunctional family home for the criminally insane, but it's my home. My kinda home, haha.

One on the songs on Abnormal was the ironically titled Glad To Be Here. The song had been written after Bumblefoot returned home after touring with the band.

After getting off a tour, the transition back to civilian life ain't easy - life feels *wrong*, like it isn't yours and ya don't belong there. Within 12 hours, I'm going crazy, have even less tolerance for the little things that piss me off, need to drive faster than a shitty old Hyundai was meant to, and am at a loss on how to budget my time, re-learning what a day is and what it's suddenly supposed to consist of. "Glad To Be Here" came out of one of those moments where you're in the last place you'd want to be.

Like in the 80's at the DMV, when the lines went out the door, ya get to the window and the lady says there's another form to fill out, and you have to wait on line again for another 3 hours. Or traffic court, waitin' to see the judge. I think I've seen half the ones in NJ, one in Westchester, got out of having to sit in one in Virginia. But yeah, if you're ever in that spot, in that kinda traffic, in that kinda trouble, or with those kinds of people, think of the verses to this song, it'll say it all for ya.

In August 2010, while discussing his touring with Lita Ford which took place in June-September 2009, Bumblefoot would state that if that tour hadn't happened he would probably have left Guns N' Roses, and also indicate insinuate that the high pressure and late show starts was a problem to him:

Bumblefoot would also say he had desperately needed the tour to get away from Guns N' Roses to something low pressure:

It's been such a long time since I toured doing something that wasn't Guns N' Roses, where it was just me playing guitar a bunch of songs and if I wanted extend the song I could. It was just plugging my guitar and amp. I wasn't all wired up, I didn't have wireless, I didn't have in-ear monitors. It just felt so normal! And it was what I needed (laugh). Definitely, I probably would not been able to stay with Guns N' Roses and tour with them, if I didn't do that, because I needed something that was just low pressure, just very simple. We go on on time, we plug in to an amp and we play. It was a good experience and for me it was definitely something that brought my brain back to were it needed to be.

When asked if he had ever considered leaving the band he would admit that had been the case:

There were times. Yeah, there were definitely times. When you missed the rest of your life. When you add to that, the baggage that comes with Guns N' Roses, which is always being compared to past band members. And the fact that Guns N' Roses doesn't really promote, so we are always just viewed as something less than we are, we are viewed as just hired hands, instead of people that have written and recorded and toured and are friends and everything that the band is. So a lot of times it could really wear you down. And between all that, for me I need to be productive. At that point, the last thing we did was tour two years before and the album came out and we didn't do anything in 2008. Two years have passed and the only thing we did were rehearsals. I was in a hotel room for 97 days in California. It seemed like the tour just pushed further and further away. And it was really just breaking me. I started feeling like there was nothing there. I've started thinking about the future and do I wanna keep doing this, what's my life want to be. But I'm glad I stayed. Course I think, the touring we did starting in December, it's been the best touring I've ever done and the best touring we've ever done. The band never sounded better. Shows have been great. I finally found a chance to interact more with the fans. I've set up my own contests, where fans could win tickets and backstage passes. And I do all myself. Guns N' Roses doesn't do any of that. To me it's two puzzle pieces that form the whole picture: the band and the fans. You can't have one without the other. You can't have fans screaming at an empty stage and you can't be onstage playing for no audience. We need each other. I always had a strong connection with my fans. On one of the last tours I did before Guns, I had the fans to pick all the songs that we would play on tour. I would have hundreds of people sent me set-lists and then I would keep 25 the most picked songs and that was the set that we played. Even on my album Barefoot, I asked on my forum, what song would you like to hear acoustic version of and the song that they choose, is the one that I recorded last and put it as the opening track for the album. So for me it's always been something that have to be, sort of connection and with Guns N' Roses I do that myself. And it doesn't always fit, because they change travel plans at the last minute and it would screwed up the things that I've organized, so it's definitely been difficult trying to do these things.

Despite these problems, in mid-2010 Bumblefoot would talk about having formed relationships with the other guys in the band:

In the beginning, they didn't know what the hell to make of me, but now I think they get it. The good and the bad. And the ugly. And the very ugly! When I first joined, I'm sure they thought, "who's this dude that the stork just left on our doorstep?" Tommy, who was always a punk guy, knows I grew up with a lot of that stuff, and we connect on that level. Me and Richard will be jamming and talking about old Yes music. And actually, the first song that me and Richard both learned to play was Rock N' Roll Hoochie Koo! We all e-mail, call and text when we're on different sides of the continent, and when we're on the same side, we hang and jam. Frank brought his drums to my house last week and we just jammed for a few hours, and the week before that we went over to Sebastian Bach's house and jammed.

Really no troubles, we have never had fights, we get along well, surprisingly well considering what a roller coaster this is all the time. You know when you are so bunched together there is no time to put your energy in a little paddy stuff. We all hang out, it´s really good. Last few days I was hanging out with Chris Pitman and his girl and then the next night I was out with DJ Ashba and Richard Fortus and his wife and we went to a nice restaurant. Yes it´s strangely good, unusually good. I guess we should go for a fight, we will start one tonight (laughing).

In early 2011, Bumblefoot would also imply harrowing details about him and his family being abused by fans:

And people burning our family members with cigarettes? And screaming 'whore' and throwing things at our children? And harassing our parents at night? Ya don't know. And I'm nobody's punching bag - try and hit me where it hurts, I may choose to do the same. Like I said, I'm not running for office - I'm a hard-working man that gets a lot of shit for the crime of entertaining people, takes most of it in stride, but will respond when I feel it's time. Tomorrow I'll be made of armor. Right now I'm here as flesh.

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:52 am

AUGUST 15, 2010

On August 15, 2010, the following message would be sent from Axl's personal twitter account:

All upcoming Guns N' Roses dates are officially cancelled. Please contact your place of purchase for any refunds.
Axl's personal twitter account, August 15, 2010

Media would notice that in contrast to any previous tweets from Axl, this message had been sent via "mobile web" [Blabbermouth, August 15, 2010].

The following day, the official Guns N' Roses Facebook account posted this message:

Well, well, well, you never can tell... We are looking into this tweet [...] from the @AxlRose twitter account. Please keep up with us here on Facebook and Twitter for official word. Thank you - GN'R.
Guns N' Roses Facebook account, August 16, 2010

Also on August 16, Billboard would point out reasons why it was likely a case of Axl's account being hacked:

It always seemed likely to be a hoax: Rose is not active on Twitter and this is the first post in three months. Rose's other messages were posted via iPhone and this latest tweet was via mobile web. It was also curious that it had the British spelling of "cancelled."

That Axl's account had been hacked would be confirmed by Festival Republic:

"Festival Republic are informed by GN'R management that Guns N' Roses have NOT canceled their performances at Reading & Leeds and that Axl Rose's Twitter account was hacked into and all claims of dates being cancelled are unfounded," said a Festival Republic statement today (Aug. 16).

A few days later Tommy would describe how he had reacted to the tweet:

It's startling and it's stressful. You're thinking, 'I've got to get my life in order because I'm leaving in five days' – then you hear something like that coming down the pike. It's Sunday night and you're like, 'How am I supposed to deal with that?' Everyone's trying to figure out what's happening with it. Then I finally get the call that everything's fine. It's crazy shit.

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:52 am

AUGUST 27, 2010

Before embarking on the European leg of the tour in August 2010, Bumblefoot would talk about returning to Europe:

It's been the best shows I've been part of; this band is at its best. Looking forward to coming back to Europe, been four years since we toured a lot of the continent. It's been a wild fucking ride, we'll keep it goin' 'til we can't go no more.

And on how it is to play the new songs now:

I think that playing the Chinese songs since the album came out is better. I don't know if touring is any different, but playing those songs in particular you now have everyone singing along. They're more familiar with the music, so that part of it is better. People know the shit now, or some of them do, hopefully they do.

On August 23, 2010, the European tour started with a show at the Reading Festival in England. Before the show, Melvin Benn, the organizer of both Reading and the Leeds shows, had warned the band publicly to start on time, as reported in various media outlets [BBC Newsbeat, August 24, 2010; Spinner, August 24, 2010]:

If Guns N' Roses decide to take to stage as late as they did in Leeds some years ago then the performance just won't happen. I've had a very heavy warning from the local councils. There is a curfew -- it's a very strict curfew. We got away with it once. We won't get away with it for a second time. Unfortunately, if the band chose not to take to the stage on time there's really nothing I can do. I won't be allowed to break the curfew. The truth is -- it's threatening the viability of the festival. It threatens the licence. It really is quite important.
Melvin Benn, August 2010

Despite this, the band went on late, as usual, and the organizers cut the power at curfew time, resulting in a set of only 13 songs. After the power was cut, the band remained on stage leading the audience in a rendition of Paradise City. Axl would also declare through a megaphone that the following show in Leeds was now cancelled.

DJ would later talk about the battery backup rig he has that allowed him to continue playing after the power had been cut:

[...] that's the night I went out with my guitar and started playing anyway and no one could figure out how the fuck I had power because they shut the power. So I am up there laughing and Axl has a megaphone.

The band would stand behind Axl and the late start:

Hi honey, what a day at the office! Had the plug pulled on us, power shut off - I grabbed an acoustic, Deej turned his amp up, Ax grabbed a megaphone, told him I'd grab 10 random people from the audience and bring 'em on stage for a personal acoustic show, but shit was winding down, local security wasn't lookin' to help, had a bit of a Paradise City sing-along but finally we had to just bid farewell... (Leeds: Axl/management will let ya know if there's gonna be any definite change of plans...) This is the kinda crazy shit I need, I feel fukkin good - party hoppin with my bandmates for the last 6 hours. Love you!!
Bumblefoot's twitter, August 28, 2010

Last night was insane! They pulled the power, but failed to kill the connection as 90,000 people sang Paradise City. Much love to you all!!!
Dj's twitter, August 28, 2010

had such a great time at reading festival til they pulled the plug.queens of the stone age ripped!!! couldn't have been nicer guys.thank
Tommy's twitter, August 28, 2010

READING FESTIVAL - Apparently the promoter has had a personal grudge with GN'R stemming from 8 years ago, if this was the case why book the band? He knows our show. Let me guess... To take our fans money and then not allow us to give them a show that they payed for. This was clearly not a curfew thing because after cutting our power like a selfish money grubbing prick, he allowed music blasting through out the venue till the early morning. For us this was all about the fans, the show and the music. For the promoter it was all about the money and not about the fans or the music. The promoter was already being a cocky f$#k in the press before we arrived, so yes we went on a little late, and for this we apologies. However, our fans payed to see a show, and that's why we showed up, too give them just that. Sad that this promoter's music festival has little too do with the fans or the love for music. Last night was insane! They pulled the power, but failed to kill the connection as 90,000 people sang Paradise City. Much love to you all!!!
Dj's twitter, August 28, 2010

Seems some of you took my post out of context. I in NO way meant that we went on late because the promoter was being a cocky prick. I simply stated that, then I went on to apologies to the fans for us going on a little late. Peace out.
Dj's twitter, August 28, 2010

I don't think there is another band out right now that has the balls to do what we did last night.
Richard's twitter, August 28, 2010

Axl insists on doing things his way and not playing by the fucking rules. You can love him or hate him for it, but the fact of the matter is.... he's the real fucking deal. skin, blood and soul. Deal with it or not, but it won't ever change.
Richard's twitter, August 28, 2010

long live rock n' roll.
Richard's twitter, August 28, 2010

On August 29, Axl would comment on the incident and imply that festival organizers should apologize to the fans for pulling the plug:

In regard to Reading we feel at the very least the fans deserve an apology from those responsible for the nonsense. We'd also like to thank the fans for being so great, singing along n' not tearing the place apart!!
Axl's twitter, August 29, 2010

Excerpt from scathing review in the Guardian by Dan Martin:

Now, the kind of journalist who makes it all about themself is of course objectionable, but these are objectionable circumstances, so forgive me. My first ever gig as a festival reporter was Leeds 2002, when Guns N' Roses turned up two hours late but smashed it out of the park nonetheless. I may have mentioned that Axl was "as big as a house." He may just have called me out onstage in London a few days later, naming me a "pussy" who owed him rent for "living in my ass for so long." It was a career high, yes, but those also feel like kinder, more innocent days. This was when Chinese Democracy was still an illusion we could all use. But now we've heard the dowdy reality, and tonight we got the worst of both worlds. The band took the stage just a measly hour late, had their set cut marginally, but not dramatically, and turned in a show that was the ultimate insult to the Gunners dream, in being simply unmemorable. True, the magic of hearing the likes of Welcome To The Jungle, It's So Easy and November Rain live cannot be diminished. But last night Reading was challenged to judge whether this was enough, and Reading judged "no". There was no charisma, no chemistry and actually, so little vocal that the rumour of the night was that Axl had drafted in Mickey Rourke as a body double. Certainly, the boos negated his vocals down to nothing. And when history is written, it shall be told that the GNR dream ended with an unedifying sit in - in which Axl tried to whip up a disinterested crowd into voicing outrage over the shortened set. After such a mess, it's perhaps not surprising that the rumour of the festival today is that the band were not paid for their performance and will not be appearing on Sunday for the Leeds leg.

And so after all that, it gives me no pleasure to diss GNR online for a second time. But rather than a boyish jibe about his girth, this was about insulting their fans and, worse, their legacy. So c'mon Axl. Bring it. Do your worst. Oh! You already did.

Excerpts from equally scathing review in the Independent by Nick Hasted:

The boos must echo through Axl Rose's dressing room.

An hour after he and the shattered substitutes for his band, Guns N' Roses, are due onstage, he still refuses to walk out to play to his public. When he does, with the title track for the album Chinese Democracy, which it took him 18 ludicrous years to finish, the boos barely relent. The Reading Festival's proud British rock crowd treat this exhausted, insulting star with contempt.

At the end of the first night of what may end as a legendary Reading Festival, the car crash that was expected of Rose duly piled into a wall.

His scraped-smooth, red-raw skin makes Mickey Rourke's look normal. His cheap silver jacket looks like one you might pick up outside a Las Vegas gig by a Guns N' Roses tribute act, who would play with more commitment. His voice loosely recalls Cartman, South Park's eight-year-old anarchist, when whining about his homework.

The early part of the set includes cult tracks from Guns N'Roses' debut album, Appetite for Destruction, from which fans stagger away in shame. The Replacements' bassist Tommy Stinson has been dragooned into what might mercifully be Axl's last stand. He can do nothing for the sad, slack stumble this band has become. Even "Welcome to the Jungle" is dribbled out with no meaning. Fireworks flare to fool the rubes, Axl sputters, and lets his career die. Only the bell-boy still owed money at whatever Royal Berkshire hotel he's staying after this nightmarish one-night stand might wish him well, for one night only.

For "Sweet Child O' Mine", he changes into a red check shirt that would go down well in a country bar on a slow Monday. He tinkles away at a keyboard – as if he's an artist – but never says sorry when he falls far short. The contempt of this tinny, redundant show by a blissfully ignorant ex-star is mutual long before the end.

Last year's Reading was the dullest in memory. But there's far more potential this year for the chaos, anarchy and inspiration rock'n'roll always promises. Guns N' Roses suggest you be careful what you wish for. But Pete Doherty's reformed The Libertines, due tomorrow, along with the highly anticipated return of exuberant critics' favourites Arcade Fire, promise explosive behaviour. As does a defiant reconnection with Reading's headbanging, hard-rock spirit, from Queens of the Stone Age on Friday to Blink 182 at the weekend's close.

The increasingly middle-class and mature nature of newer festivals such as Latitude and Cornbury has never been Reading's way. The rock festival as teenage rite of passage and test of endurance always comes into its own as tents start to sink out of sight, and cleanliness is left behind for the weekend, along with mum and dad.

The unlikely sight of the baking, cracked moonscape of Glastonbury this June – where festival-goers more used to taking precautions for trenchfoot suffered blistered skin from the endless sun – was suddenly a fond memory, when Reading in its early hours looked set to be a swamp. The sun and cloud of a typical late summer evening, and the unimpressively ankle-high spatters on the boots of those jostling to see Friday's first big names, Lostprophets and Biffy Clyro, meant a real, blackly liquid mudbath would, in fact, be averted. Many were disappointed at that. But the contempt for Axl confirmed that there was a real rock festival waiting to take place."

In October, Bumblefoot would talk about this show:

We have done a phenomenal show in Belfast and no one mentions that, it was fantastic. We had an incredible show in Rome and no one mentions that, we had incredible shows in France and nobody mentions that. We did a great acoustic show in Paris and no one mentions that. All that is mentioned is that people were throwing things at the band. [...] [Reading] was not as troublesome as it sounds like when you read about it. We were -like we always do -later then the scheduled time, but that happens and if you are going to book GNR you need to know that the curfew is going out the window. [...] there were only a few songs left. We would have done another two, three songs. And we have already played for about two hours or something like that. We tried to do the last songs in an acoustic way, Axl grabbed the bullhorn, I grabbed the acoustic guitar but of course that was impossible, a hundred thousand people will not going to hear. And I tried to bring people on to the stage but the local security wouldn’t help me. I wanted to bring 10 people from the front of the audience on to the stage for giving them an acoustic show right there just for them.

When asked if it was true Axl had been so upset that he had fired the entire technical crew, Bumblefoot replied:

I´ve heard [that rumour], but it´s not true. But I hear all kinds of rumours.

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:53 am

AUGUST 29-31, 2010

Despite Axl having stated the show in Leeds on August 29 was cancelled after having endured having the power cut during the set at Reading, the show at the Leeds Festival on August 29, 2010, took place.

We r in constant talks to ensure the fans attending Leeds get what they paid for w/out undue bureaucratic interference. We thank you for your understanding. Peace!!
Guns N' Roses official twitter account, August 29, 2010

And then:

Please feel free to share retweet, etc.: The show tonight at #leedsfestival is ON!
Guns N' Roses official twitter account, August 29, 2010

The band entered the stage 35 minutes after schedules starting time [The Belfast Telegraph, August 30, 2010], possible after pressure to avoid playing over curfew. This show was also shorter than usual with 15 songs in the set when the band was informed they would not be allowed to play over curfew and Axl was not happy about the situation as mentioned by a reviewer wiring for The Belfast Telegraph:

Rock singer Axl Rose launched a foul-mouthed tirade against police and promoters as he left the stage at a festival.

The Guns N' Roses singer told the crowd at Leeds Festival the band was informed it would be allowed to play until just before midnight but was pulled off stage at around 11.15pm on Sunday night.

He told the throngs of watching fans: "We come here to play for you but the cops and the promoters wanna fuck us in the ass.

"We would like to play a few more songs for you but we'll just play one."

The band, which was 35 minutes late to the stage, then broke into Paradise City.

There were fears the frontman would repeat his performance at the festival in 2002 when he kept fans waiting for nearly three hours, especially after he arrived on stage one hour late at the festival's sister event in Reading on Saturday.

As the group's Leeds set drew to a close, Rose, who underwent numerous costume changes during his performance, repeated his earlier sentiment and said: "Be safe, good night and to all the cops and promoters - fuck you."

But despite the hostility towards promoters and police, the band played for nearly two hours and was met with a warm welcome from thousands of fans on the festival's last night.

Dj would talk about the show:

What an amazing crowd tonight at Leeds!! Wow!! Thank you all so much for coming out!!!! Had a blast with you all!!! Much love!
Dj's Twitter, August 30, 2010

Axl would also voice his opinion on August 30 and seemingly accept some of the blame for what had happened:

Don't know what it is w/us or these last 2 shows. Takes the fun out it 4 everyone fans, band n' crew alike but whatever. So u know, we allegedly had a deal in place pre show w/the city at least at Leeds to do a bit longer performance that was either miscommunication, someone wasn't informed, changed their mind, didn't care or was a con. Regardless the nonsense just seems so unnecessary but w/out real management or industry presence is unfortunately beyond r control. We hope the fans feel they got at least what they could from us under the circumstances as 4 us all things considered that's the main thing. The rest is filler. Anyway, enough rambling. Peace, thanks 4 understanding n' what we did manage to get done out there was a blast! The crowds n' fans were amazing!! And in r opinion (not that apparently it means much) u deserved better!! Thanks again!! Axl-
Dj's Twitter, August 30, 2010

Then the very next day he released a longer statement where he blamed the organizers for booking them to do a show under conditions unacceptable to the band, and where he also claimed he had not been involved in the booking of these shows

Our start times at the Reading and Leeds festivals factually had nothing to do with us as the previous bands (who were great by the way) came off stage when they did and we went on within' our contracted and documented changeover time period.

Whatever other nonsense anyone's choosing to write would appear intentionally false.

Having the fans or our show penalized for how the event was ran or simply the natural flow of events those evenings and for such minimal amount of overtime along with distortions and falsehoods by media, the promoter and or event organizers regarding the events seems a bit draconian and more than unfair to the fans.

A simple question: If you are aware of our changeover time, the average length of our show and the general nature of how these types of festivals run all of which are no big secrets...why book us?

Is it simply because the lineup on our nights at both festivals sold well? So it's a cash grab with no respect for the fans or the band and somehow an unwanted inconvenience for the cities and law enforcement? If we're not wanted and just being used to line someone else's pockets or for fictitious tabloid fodder at the fans and our expense we're fine with going elsewhere. God forbid we would force ourselves on anyone. It's not that kinda party.

I didn't organize, arrange, authorize, have knowledge of or was even consulted about our being booked for these shows till after the fact nor did I choose to work with anyone I'm aware of other than our manager who was involved in arranging these dates. Yet it would appear we're amazingly often legally obligated to honor such arrangements whether against our will or better judgment. That's simply and unfortunately how this business often works with the artist and imo seems is legally supported to benefit managers, agents, promoters and ticket vendors.

With how the fans and we were treated in the past I had what I feel were legitimate and now proven justified apprehensions. Yet we gave 100% and from where we stood it seemed as if the both the fans (who rocked!) and our camp were having fun and making the most of things.

Why (and what would appear intentionally) risk having it go bad for everyone? Imo that's where true recklessness and negligence at both the fans and our expense would seem to be.

Anyway...thanks again to all the fans who made our nights!!


Axl's Twitter, August 31, 2010

In 2012, the promoter of the Reading and Leeds Festivals, Melvin Benn, would say he would never book the current lineup again, but would happily book a reunited Guns N' Roses:

I wouldn’t have the current line-up, certainly not at the moment. It doesn’t feel right. [...] Of course if it was the original line-up, I would definitely consider it and if they could tell the time, it would be fantastic. With the original line-up it would be something very special. We’d have to give them all a watch each, but we’d certainly try to get them if they reformed.

After Leeds Festival, the band did a show at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland, on August 31, 2010.

The show was insane!! The crowd was amazing! I love the people here there so nice!! =) G'nite!!!!
Dj's Twitter, August 31, 2010

guess belfast is too exciting for me. i can't sleep. had a hell of a great gig here though. oh well
Tommy's Twitter, August 31, 2010

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:53 am


After a very tumultuous start to the European tour, things almost went terribly wrong at the O2 in Dublin, Ireland, on September 1, 2010. The band did not get off to a good start when they entered the stage 90 minutes late [Sputnik Music, September 2, 2010], resulting in boos, chants for Slash, and sporadic throwing of plastic bottles. As Axl was introducing Richard for his solo, a bottle was thrown at Richard resulting in Axl taking the whole band with him off stage [Sputnik Music, September 2, 2010; The Irish Times, September 2, 2010].

Rose had earlier frustrated the capacity crowd at the O2 by turning up an hour and a half late.

He stopped the band during the intro to the second song Welcome to the Jungle when a bottle of water was thrown on stage and told the crowd: “Here’s the deal, one more bottle, we go home. We want to stay. If you don’t want to have fun just let us know. We’ll be on our way."

Rose made good his promise after another bottle was thrown as guitarist Richard Fortus was about to start a solo and took his band off stage to a cacophony of boos and cat-whistles at the end of the fourth song Mr Brownstone . Guns 'N'Roses had been on stage for 22 minutes.

Frantic efforts were made to get him back. A woman came out on stage and was booed when she said they were experiencing “technical difficulties”.

MCD promoter Denis Desmond came on stage and asked the crowd for patience, which is also Guns ‘N’Roses song title.

“We’re trying hard to get Axl to come back on stage. I’m trying hard to get Axl to come back on stage. I’d ask you please to refrain from throwing items at him. I promise a great show, but you have to calm. I’m sorry about that,” he said.

After short interval the lights came on and thousands of fans left the arena.

The band returned to the stage about 30 minutes later to finish their set [The Irish Times, September 2, 2010]. Tellingly, it was a seemingly subdued Axl who returned to stage, and finished the show mostly standing still.

After the show, the organizers release a statement scolding the audience for their behavior, scolding Guns N' Roses for going on late, and saying Axl has been prevented from leaving the venue:

Statement issued by Promoters MCD & the management of The O2 regarding the Guns N' Roses concert at The 02, Dublin, Wednesday 1st September 2010.

Despite every effort being made by promoters to ensure Guns N' Roses would go on stage on time, they went on at 22.26hrs having been due to be on stage at 21.45hrs, support artist finished at 21:00hrs.

During the second song Axl requested members of crowd who were throwing plastic glass's containing unknown substances to immediately stop or he would have no option but to leave the stage. He confirmed band's wish to perform stating "we want to more bottle and we go home". Despite his continued appeals, having tried to continue performing for 22 minutes, people continued throwing unknown substances leaving artist with no choice but to leave the stage.

From the stage MCD Promoter Denis Desmond again appealed to audience to refrain from throwing items and stated that the band would be back on stage shortly.

The artist was prevented from leaving the venue by the Promoter and following backstage discussions Guns N' Roses went back on stage at 23.20 hrs and performed their full set until 00.53 hrs.

While the artist has a long history for being late on stage (Slane 1992 - crowd waiting 2 hours and last weekend's UK Reading festival), NO artist should be subjected to missiles and unknown substances being thrown at them. However, despite this the band went back on stage after people stopped throwing items performing their full set of songs in full.

MCD and The 02 wish to apologise for any inconvenience caused due to late running of the show.

Many thx to all of you who stuck it out with us last night, turning a negative night into a positive one, and for not allowing a few bad apples in the crowd to spoil our fun! Here in Rome, this place is in-f%$#ing-sane!!! Wow, it's beyond beautiful here. Got to get some zzzzzzz...... ttyl
Dj's Twitter, September 2, 2010

In October, Bumblefoot would talk about this show:

[...] I hear all kinds of rumours. I heard that in Dublin we walked off and then most of the audience left and we didn’t finish the show. But we went back on ahead like 25, 30 Minutes later almost after we had sorted a few things out and we did the entire show to the very end.

And the place was not empty like some press reports wanted it to be. I mean the thing is you can read what the press says, but You Tube doesn´t lie. You go and watch the videos. You know, Reading was the same. The press said that the audience was booing us, but videos show that people were singing along and were having a great time. So people have to decide what they are going to believe, their own eyes or what some disgruntled and angry British press guy is writing. The press often is untrue and brutal and that´s disappointing. They want to entertain their readers even if it´s negative. They do not exact stories, they want to make things more interesting and concerning Reading, Leeds and Dublin they were really exaggerating some things at least from my perspective. I mean my perspective might be different from a person in the audience in the front row and it might be much more different from a person in the audience a thousand feet back. But from my perspective it all wasn’t that mad. But also I might be a little bit desensitized to the craziness. But the only thing that I don´t like is when the audience is suffering. If we are late give them water, give them something on the screen, give them some entertaining while they wait, don´t leave them like they were sitting in the traffic for two hours. Give them something, don´t just leave them there and let them getting angry. The thing is, we entertain because we want to make people happy, we need to please people so that a hundred thousand people smile and cheer. That’s why I´m here, that´s why I do this. I like to entertain people and to make sure that they are having a good time. When the next day someone of the audience is sending a face book message saying this was the greatest night he had, that is such a great thing. But when the audience is suffering that destroys me, that kills me and that I have a really hard time with. And it doesn´t matter why it is happening, it shouldn´t happen and I am sensitive to it. But this is GNR and it will not change, we are always late and people need to know that, they need to bring snacks, they need to go to the bathroom first, they need to plan how they get home. That’s reality and I just don´t want people to be hurt by, that´s all.

And he would revisit the topic in 2017:

We had some great shows in Ireland; some volatile ones too. We were very late, people threw things. So the show was held off for a while, but then we went back on and finished it. I thank everybody for their patience for sticking around for the whole show and seeing it through with us. That was very cool.

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:53 am


According to Sputnik Music, Tommy had been enraged by Axl's behavior in Dublin [see previous chapter] and considered quitting the band:

Guns N' Roses bassist Tommy Stinson is considering his future with the band after a catastrophic show in Dublin tonight during which the group left the stage for almost 45 minutes at the behest of frontman Axl Rose.

Sputnikmusic witnessed Stinson in a heated argument with road manager Del James following the show, which saw the Los Angeles band take to the stage an hour and a half late before leaving after just four songs.

Frontman Axl Rose had threatened to leave when a plastic bottle was thrown on stage before 'Welcome to the Jungle,' and stormed off stage when a second was thrown at the conclusion of 'Mr. Brownstone.'

Stinson was heard to shout: "That's my fucking family up there and he put us in danger again.

"He can't keep doing this. Nothing happened this time, but next time we might not be so lucky.

"This has to stop."

The band returned to stage after a long hiatus, during which a third of the paying audience left, and performed almost a full set. They finally wrapped up at 1am, an hour and half later than the venue's scheduled curfew.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:54 am


In February 2010, Slash would provide an update on the status of Velvet Revolver:

I think Duff [McKagan] is doing something with Jane’s Addiction right now so we’re all sort of all over the place doing whatever until we can all regroup. We did listen to a lot of singers, but there hasn’t been anybody that’s going to be the guy so far.


It’s really hard to do something with a voice that’s already really well known in an original band. We want someone who is really good that hasn’t been recognized by the whole country as being amazing, but somebody who is just on the precipice of just being discovered.

And in April Duff would talk about focusing on other things that Velvet Revolver:

Velvet Revolver had an amazing climb from absolutely nothing to something that people around the planet got into. That is also an amazing thing to observe from the inside. I won't be the guy to say it was anyone's fault that we came to an end with Scott Weiland; shit just happens. If you've been doing this as long as I have, you just learn to shut your mouth and fucking move on. Velvet is in a period of downtime right now, and perhaps we will one day get a new singer. For now, though, I have to look at opportunities when they are presented.


I put no blame on Slash for VR not just putting everything else to the side and looking for a singer after our parting with Scott. I know Slash very well, and also know that his new record is something that he has arguably been wanting to do since the early '90s. This record is on his own terms, with no band members to deal with. I get it. I think maybe we all needed a break after what went down with us.

I have never spoken or written about this, because things of this nature are just so often better left alone. With the sheer volume of calls and e-mails I have received in the past week regarding JA [=Jane's Addiction], I thought it best if I was completely open about all the factors that make up my career. We are all friends in VR, don't get me wrong, but with all the different issues that plagued us, we all just needed to do something else for a while, I suppose. As I said, though, I also cannot just wait around. Life is short, and I am going to make the most of it.

Duff would not express any bitterness towards Slash for focusing on his solo album:

Slash is going to be touring [behind his new solo album] for at least the next year, and I can’t afford to just wait around and see if something’s going to happen. [...] Slash just made the album I’ve known he’s wanted to make since the Use Your Illusion tour in 1993. We play in a band together, but we’re also friends. Being friends means giving each other space to do what your heart is telling you at the moment. [...] I don’t know [when the next VR record is coming out], a couple years down the line or whatever. Nobody knows [...]

Being asked if Velvet Revolver is over:

No, no we never made any announcement like that. It’s just been very dormant since I started this record, and we got back from the last tour and parted ways with Scott, and then got together and wrote a really insane bunch of material and everyone was really happy. And we started auditioning singers again.

That was sort of tedious and embarrassing and as soon as I got that feeling that we were going to rush to find someone, we decided to put it down, and we’ll revisit it. So I started doing my record, and Duff’s doing his thing with Loaded and Matt was also busy, and so we’re getting back together next year to start working on the singer search again.

It's still there. Matt [Sorum]’s trying to come up with new ways to find different singers online. He's really into the whole online world, so he’s coming up with different ways to audition singers and all that kind of stuff.

It's just in a state of limbo until we bunker down and figure out who the (new) singer's going to be.

We worked really hard on trying to see if we could find a singer right after the last tour stopped and we were done with Scott [Weiland]. We didn't want to rush it or make any desperate decisions.

As soon as I get back from this tour I'll call the other guys and see where they're at and then we'll reconvene and take a good look at where Velvet's at and who's out there and get that up and running. It's definitely not dead. It's just sort of dormant.

In July, Slash would mention Myles Kennedy had been offered the job but had declined:

No, he's already got a band, Alter Bridge, and he's not leaving. We offered him to sing in Velvet a year ago, but he turned it down then. So we're still looking for a singer. As soon as we establish the singer, we'll be able to set the time to actually go in and start working on the record. We've held a bunch of auditions, we just haven't found the right guy yet. We stopped for the tour, but we've been listening to demos from different singers. But right now I can't say there's someone who we're leaning towards. We haven't found that guy yet.

Matt would be asked about Slash prioritizing his solo career in early 2011:

At first I felt frustrated, but then I understood where he was coming from and I kind of put myself in his shoes. He's always been a ring leader. As far as work ethic goes, Slash is one of the hardest working guys I know. Last year, you couldn't turn on the TV without seeing him. It was actually, enough already. Did I want to be out there playing? Yeah, to be honest. But he needed to do the solo thing again and come back to a band and feel that environment, which is completely different. Now it's not all riding on his shoulders anymore and I think that can only be good for us.


At some point in 2010, the band released a DVD of their live show in Houston in 2005:

It seemed like the right time to put out a retrospective of what we had done and that was a particular time where we were firing on all cylinders. We were just starting out on our first theatre tour for Contraband. We had a #1 album, we were reaching platinum sales, we won a Grammy and there was an excitement around the band. The fans were really up for it and everyone in the band was in good physical and mental shape. I can see that by watching the DVD. We were all pretty fired up. We were excited to be on stage and excited to be in a band. We went through a lot of shit to get there. Weiland had gone through some trials and tribulations and we had gone through a couple of years trying to put the whole thing together. It was very exciting to be out there because once you get out on the road and you’re touring; you’re whole process is just getting on stage every night and putting on a great hour and a half performance. That particular night, we knew the cameras were rolling and we were in full effect. It’s cool that it’s out now because we are organically reforming the band. It’s coming back into shape now even though it’s been talked about now for a few years.

The thing I remember most about that period of the band is we were fresh into our touring. We were just starting a theater run before we started playing bigger venues. The album was out; it had already entered the charts at number one. It went platinum. We were really firing on all cylinders. There was a lot of excitement in the air. We were all in really good physical and mental shape. We were all in good spirits and we definitely had a chemistry. And you can see that. It jumps off the screen on that DVD.

Being asked why it took them so long to release the DVD:

We never had the idea to put it out ourselves. Someone from Eagle Rock came to us and asked us if we wanted to put this show out on a DVD. All we were thinking about was coming back out with a new version of the band. But then we figured it would be good to put out something that represented that era of the band at its best.

Being asked where the footage came from:

We filmed it for some TV special or something, and Eagle Rock came to us and said, "Can we release this?" And we decided that would be totally cool because, like I said, we don't want to wipe away the slate we already created with Scott Weiland. So We contacted Scott and asked, "Are you into it?" And he said, "Yeah, let's do it."


In September 2010, Slash would provide a rare update when he was asked why they didn't draft in Myles Kennedy as the new singer:

Velvet Revolver will be a 24-hour-a-day project and Kennedy is still committed to Alter Bridge. I don’t want to be the guy responsible for breaking up a band. But we’ll find someone. Maybe not somebody known, but some kind of local hero.

And a few days later Slash would say they would audition some new singers in October:

You know, Myles is in Alter Bridge, so he's just working with me on the side. But for Velvet Revolver we're going to get together in October and see if… we're going to try out some singers and see what happens.

Everybody asks the same question: 'Where are you with that?' It's really, we're nowhere until we can find somebody who can do that job. Very quietly I've had my ears to the pavement, trying to see if there's anybody that fits that bill, and it's got to be somebody really good, 'cause I don't want to rush into it out of desperation. I want to wait 'til I get the right person.

And in October the band was jamming again:

In the meantime, there's a lot going on. Velvet Revolver is back together jamming, trying out singers. No updates yet. But it's great to hook up with Duff, Matt and Dave after all this time. I'll keep you posted on any interesting developments from those sessions as they happen. But the creative juices are definitely flowing. I'm positive something awesome is going to surface soon.

In November Slash and Duff would provide updates:

I have no idea [when the band till begin again]. We had a couple of guys in the week before last. We have some more guys coming in next week or the week after. Yeah, the week after. All things considered they are all great guys of everyone we have been trying out so far. For the most part anyways there have been some really good singers. Trying to find the right guy for this thing is a lot more complicated than one would probably think. So we will keep on toiling away it until we hit that magic and when that happens then everything will start rolling.

Velvet Revolver is not done, we're not finished, and I don't think we've made our best record yet. We’ll tour again, we'll find the guy. It's one of those things, if you concern yourself with it and the singer, it starts to… because there's not a lot to pool from out there – for our particular band. There’s some great talent, we've heard some really, really good guys. But to get all four of us to agree on what that guy – I don't know if the guy that all four of us want is ever going to exist, but we gotta get close. [...] You know, it's got to be better than it was - it's got to be as good, at least. And for us it's got to be better. Scott is an amazing vocalist and frontman, so it's got to be as good or better than that. We can't step down a notch.

And in December Matt would give an update:

We’ve been spending quite a bit of time doing this process and it’s not an easy process for a band of our nature because we’re looking for a certain type of singer. We have a lot of pedigree and the guys that came before him are pretty well known front men. To find the guy to fill those pretty big shoes… You have to be a triple threat. You have to have personality, star quality… you have to have the whole package and have that 'X' factor. We had a couple of guys that we worked with, spent time with them, nurtured them and tried to see how their personalities would fit with ours and it never seemed to quite sell us. The only metaphor I could put to that is that we’re kind of dating…


This last particular run of guys we started with right after Slash got off his solo tour. We started looking at guys that we had been watching and hearing and we sent songs to. We brought about four guys in who are basically unknowns and what we found from that experience is that the guys would come in either so nervous that they could barely perform or there was just something about it that just didn’t put it to the next level. We didn’t find any new guy and now we’re kind of “dating” a guy that’s been around and is out there. We’re looking at him and hopefully it’ll work out (which I’m about 85% positive that it will). Then we can make that statement to the world and be able to feel confident about making a great record. Otherwise, there’s really no point. People go, “Oh, Velvet Revolver, they should pack it in”. Well, not really because Scott wasn’t originally in the band when we were writing all that material. He sealed the deal and God Bless Him that he did. He was the right guy for the job at the time. He came in and put a modern sensibility on a bunch of rock riffs. It could have gone the other way. It could have been Sebastian Bach and it would have had a completely different sound. We’ve got to find a guy that we can go out with a feeling that this is a current outing and a real statement of where we are now in our musical career.

Apparently the auditions had been going well, because a few days later Matt would suggest they had found the singer:

Speaking to The Pulse Of Radio, drummer Matt Sorum said the band have somebody that they “really like a lot” and that he believed “this could be a real turning point for the band”.

The band have been without a singer since Scott Weiland left in 2008 to return to Stone Temple Pilots.

Sorum joked that the reason he wouldn’t reveal the name was because the singer and Velvet Revolver were “dating”.

He said: “We can’t make the announcement yet because we’re ‘dating,’ you know. We haven’t consummated the relationship, we haven’t sat down this gentleman and made the agreement together.”

They would continue rehearsing with the new singer in January:

We're real close [to finding the right person]. We got a guy that we like but we haven't sat around a table and said to each other, 'Okay, let’s shake hands and do this.' Hopefully we'll be able to… I mean, I know this has been going on for a while but the reality of it is Slash has been on the road [promoting his solo album] for the last year. We only started rehearsing last week after a year off and we're going to rehearse again in January with this particular person.

Being asked if they would prioritize to tour or make a new album when they have found the new singer:

Either one would be cool, but for myself I wouldn’t mind getting out there and playing. In this day and age, you can put out a single and you’re fine. We haven’t had that conversation yet, but right now, I think we got, three pretty strong songs… four even. The songs are very powerful and a lot heavier, but you can’t force anything with this band. You can’t say, 'we’re going to be heavy,' like heavy in what sense? We’re not a metal band. We’re a rock band.

In late December, Slash would talk about a coming announcement, "one way or the other":

We've actually moved leaps and bounds in the last month. We should be making an announcement one way or another next month.

But a few days later it could seem that they hadn't settled on one particular singer:

We are going to go in and try out a couple of new singers. The band itself is fine. It's just a matter of patching that hole. Nothing can happen until we do that. It has been quiet but there are things going on.

He would also specifically address the fact that Matt had mentioned one specific singer and that they were close:

Never believe what you read. [laughs] Here's what's happening: things have been moving in a very positive direction, and we'll know exactly what we're doing next month.

When asked if he thought they had found the right person:

I haven't said anything. I said we'll figure out Velvet Revolver next month [laughs].

Slash would also be asked what had happened to Velvet Revolver if Duff had continued in Jane's Addiction:

If he had stayed in Jane's Addiction, which I don't think was his plan in the first place, but if he did…I wouldn't continue Velvet Revolver without him. It would have been on indefinite hiatus.

In early 2011, Matt would provide an update:

We tried out a lot of new guys, and basically it's quite a process. Scott Weiland is one of the best frontmen out there. And I've been in bands with Axl Rose and Ian Astbury. Those are big shoes to fill. So we're looking for a tried and true individual that can mesh with guys like us that have been out there doing this for a long time.

It hasn't been an easy task, and that's why it's taking a long time. But we don't want to come out half-cocked. We want to create something that people are gonna go, "Wow, that's awesome." We've had a couple situations where we've been with some singers, and we've pulled out of because we didn't feel completely secure in the fact that going forward the the guy was the right move.

We tried out some fairly unknown guys and some guys that have been out there a little bit. But the guy we're really excited about now is a pretty known guy. I don't want to say anything yet because we're still in the dating phase. We haven't consummated the relationship or made a gentleman's agreement. So I can't let the cat out of the bag until there's an official stamp of approval on the deal.


The goal now is to get right back together [this month] and make a call on the singer. Slash is going to finish out his tour through the beginning of the summer, and then hopefully by that time we'll have a bunch of songs compiled. We all work on our own, and send each other ideas and work together when we got breaks. And maybe we'll take a few more weeks to write, get in the studio and record an album by the end of the summer to get it out by the late part of 2011. I'm looking forward to that. We've all had enough time to go out and live other lives and have an adventure and organically come back as a unit that wants to do it again.

A few days later Matt would express exasperation with the process:

Unfortunately, I don't make all the decisions... I wish I did. The problem is I've got partners, and we haven't come to a conclusive decision yet . . . I think what happened was my expectations got a little high. I dig the guy — that's all I can say — so I'll take myself off the list of the guys not deciding . . . I have to wait for everybody to say, 'Let's do this.' And I can't be the guy to stick myself out there, which I did by saying, 'I thought we were gonna make a decision.' And when you listen to Slash, he said, 'We'll make a decision one way or another' — whatever that means.


Velvet Revolver was intended to be a lot of fun and we started off having a great time, but I think that we all had a lot of chemical issues as that thing wore on. I definitely went way down the f---ing drain for a minute there after the 'Contraband' record came out and we went on tour for two years.

During the 'Contraband' tour I started drinking heavily and revisited my opiate passion, then had to come out of it so eventually I had to say that's it. Certainly Scott had his issues, even Duff and Matt went down the same road. The only one that stayed sober during the whole thing was f---ing Dave Kushner.

We all eventually came out of it and made the 'Libertad' record, which I thought, musically, was a good record but we lost Scott and we never regained that. I thought the overall spirit of everything was declining at that point so by the end of the last tour Scott was here and we were here [motions with hands in different places] and cancelling that Australian tour was the final blow.


It's actually not that big a deal. He went straight back to Stone Temple Pilots, which was sort of planned -- he was going to do a summer tour with them anyway -- and now that he's back in there I'm sort of happy for him. I think STP actually belongs together. No matter how difficult it is, it seems to be their destiny to work out their shit.

I still love the guy and there's not really any hard feelings about the whole thing. I even hung out with him recently. It's definitely not like the Guns N' Roses situation, which is f---ing deep and nasty, this is no big deal.


We're going to reconvene next year, look at the singers again, and try to find the right guy to make the most bitchin' Velvet Revolver record. Oh yeah, Velvet Revolver still exists.

At that same phase in my life, I went out with a lot of the wrong girlfriends too. You know what I mean? Didn’t always make the best choices for longevity. Seemed sexy at the time, but it’s like dating a stripper. It’s like ‘oh, that girl’s hot’, but then what you get with it is like ‘oh, boy’ (laughs).

Velvet Revolver with Scott was very cool and interesting. Recently, I had to listen to one of the records to relearn one of the songs. I'm very proud of what we did, and of working with Scott in a lot of instances. But it was never heavy enough; that was my big issue with it. The band had to kind of acclimate to Scott's style, which was cool. But the one thing that was lacking, in my mind, was a certain Matt-Slash-Duff approach, and that got sidelined when we started working with Scott. The new songs we've written are us doing our natural thing, and they sound really good. I'm looking to maintain that spirit, and we're looking for a singer to fit on top of that.

[Being asked if there were friction between him and Weiland before it ended:] Not really. Scott just kind of came in and wanted to do his thing, and I don't think we all kind of understood it at the time. We did have a bit of push-pull. We'd come off of a whirlwind tour. We spent too long getting into the second album. There were some conflicts in the band. And unfortunately, that whole old negative behavior crept back in.

It's sort of like when you're in a relationship and you think, "Ah, I'm gonna break up with this person because I don't like the way I'm feeling." And then you get in another relationship, and the same s--- comes up. You're like, "Oh, maybe it's me. Maybe I'm the one that's gotta deal with some s---." That's the kind of stuff that was really happening at the end. There were substances involved, but also personalities and egos on everybody's part.

I'm not taking myself out of that equation. You get pumped up like that by the outside world, and you start to feel a little bit invincible and you remember how good it feels to feel that way. Being in a rock 'n' roll band, you can do no wrong. That's the beauty of it. An actor crashes his car, his career is over. A musician crashes his car, he sells a million records. I mean Scott, being busted and going into rehab as many times as he has, I'm kind of like, "Enough already. We get it. OK, you've proven yourself." I'm kind of like, "Dude, the best thing you could be now is that guy that comes out shining. Then you'd be the underdog that actually proves everybody wrong."

And that was the moment we had at the beginning of Velvet Revolver. We had Scott Weiland at the top of his game. And you look at that and go, "I wish he could realize how great he can be with a little bit of focus. Because he can be one of the greatest." But it's that lack of focus focus that f--- artists like him up.

In his biography, Weiland would talk about his tenure in Velvet Revolver:

[Mary, Weiland's wife] said she’d been hanging with Susan McKagan, a former swimsuit supermodel and wife of Duff, the bass player with Guns N’ Roses when the group was at its height. Susan told Mary that three guys from GNR — Duff on bass, Matt Sorum on drums, and Slash on guitar — had formed a band. Initially, Izzy Stradlin was in, but soon opted out. David Kushner from Wasted Youth took his place.

“Sounds like a lot of egos,” I said. “Sounds like a lot of trouble.”

“They put some songs on a CD that they want you to hear,” Mary said. “They think you’ll like what they’re doing.”

I didn’t. It sounded like Bad Company-styled classic rock. And I never liked Bad Company. But being a nice guy, I said, “There’s some stuff that’s okay, but just send me another disc when you have a few new songs.”

A week or so later, another CD arrived with songs custom-designed for me. The tunes had STP written all over them.

Duff called and said, “Hey, man, just drop by the studio.” I knew Duff from the gym, and I said I’d try. I still wasn’t sure whether I wanted to hook up with these guys.

“Look, Scott,” Duff said, “there’s also soundtrack stuff we’ve been asked to do. And the money’s great.”

The money attracted me.

My managers, pushing me to join this band, said, “They’re going to cover Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’ for a new movie called The Italian Job. And then Ang Lee wants songs for his remake of The Hulk. This is going to be a hot band. Just give it a chance.”

I reluctantly agreed. The idea was just to jam. Couldn’t hurt to see if there was any chemistry. Meanwhile, I was still hurting chemically. I was still shooting dope. That’s the reason I showed up many hours late.

When I arrived, I was shocked. The guys had set up a major industry event. All sorts of music execs were there. It was being billed as an announcement of “Guns N’ Roses with Scott Weiland” and made to look like a done deal, not just a casual jam. I was confused, and, because of my drug habit, I was also a wreck. But what the fuck, I was there and might as well sing.

We sang two songs — “Set Me Free” for The Hulk and the cover of “Money.” I was blown away by the powerful chemistry between us. So was everyone else. These guys attacked rock and roll like a street gang. I liked their ferocity and balls-out commitment. Besides, looking over and seeing Slash playing beside me — Slash, who’d been an idol of mine back in the eighties — was a thrill. I knew Dave Kushner from the Electric Love Hogs, an underground rock band. Back in the day, STP had aspired to be on the Love Hogs level. I remember seeing them at English Acid, a hip spot in West Hollywood. I also knew Matt Sorum from rehab; he and I had been in together.


We went on the road for two years, toured the world, and established ourselves as a premier rock band. Velvet Revolver was a powerful force. There was so much energy on that stage that at times it felt absolutely combustible. Anything could happen at any time. We were a bunch of renegades held together by a rough passion that none of us completely understood. We were dangerous. We were on a runaway train, and audiences were drawn to our breakneck speed.

I liked our first record but can’t call it the music of my soul. There was a certain commercial calculation behind it. We wanted hits; we wanted to prove that, independent of Guns N’ Roses and STP, we could make a big splash. And we did. My fellow STPers — Robert, Dean, and Eric — tried a number of musical configurations without me, but none of them were successful. I wished them well, but I have to confess that, as a competitive guy, I wasn’t displeased to be in a new band that fans were flocking to see.
Excerpts from Weiland biography, "Not Dead and Not For Sale", printed in Rolling Stone, May 2011[/url]


[...] we've got some tunes. We've got some great riffs. We're trying to strip it down a little bit. There's some good stuff. I would say we've probably got about four or five pretty good contenders with lyrics for stuff I'd be happy on a record. It's definitely rocking. But overall, we don't have too much music yet, because we're gonna just get in there and do it.

The beauty about being in a band with these guys for so many years is we know what we've all got to offer on that front. So we don't have to pre-think things a whole lot. Even though we can dabble in ballads and play in other styles, we're pretty much comfortable being in a rock 'n' roll unit. We don't have to make ourselves something that we aren't. We're traditional in that sense.

And how it differs from Contraband and Libertad:

'Contraband' had sort of a punk rock element to it. When I listen to it, I feel like it's got a lot of angst to it. When I was making that record, I wasn't newly sober, but I had been sober a little bit. I remember I was still trying to feel comfortable in my own skin. And that angst came off useful for us.

There's an energy that says, "Man, these guys still have a lot of vitality in them." And when I listen to 'Libertad,' I feel like that album's something that we sort of weren't [into] at the time. It took a turn more for the singer in the band. Scott wanted to make a certain kind of record, so that became more his thing. 'Contraband' was already written before Scott came into play. He just gravitated towards the songs and wrote the lyrics and the melody. 'Libertad' was more an album based around what his lyrics and vision was, and it came off a little lightweight.

In 2011, Duff would also discuss the two records they had released:

[...] we made a couple really strong records. I don’t know if they really represent what we could be. Maybe the first record was, nah, I don’t know if either of those VR records are really representative and maybe we haven’t made that record yet and maybe one day we will.


In February, there would be rumours that Corey Taylor from Slipknot and Stone Sour would be chosen as the band's new singer, and it is likely it was Taylor who had been auditioning with the band since December 2010. Duff would fuel the speculations:

Any good artist has to have . . . the ability to tap the dark stuff and have it be real. Great lead singers have the ability to tap that. No inhibitions helps as well. Axl and Scott are two of the best front men ever. Corey Taylor is one of those guys as well. He can tap it. [...] I can neither confirm nor deny . . . He is a bad dude though. I like him as a human being and a singer. He's the voice of a whole new generation.

Any good artist has to have had some kind of rub in their life, something real. Something you have to get out lyrically or you are going to kill yourself or somebody else. Those are the lyrics that inspire. The ability to tap the dark stuff and have it be real. Great lead singers have the ability to tap that. No inhibitions helps as well. Axl and Scott are two of the best front men ever. [...] Corey Taylor is one of those guys as well. He can tap it. He has to get those lyrics on the paper or his world is going to crash down around him.

[When asked if Taylor was joining Velvet Revolver]: I can neither confirm nor deny. [...] He is a bad dude though. I like him as a human being and a singer. He's the voice of a whole new generation.

[When asked if Taylor would join Velvet Revolver:] We'll see. There's no big rush with the VR thing, because Slash is on tour… Here's the deal: because of twitter and other web sites over the last, whatever, eight years, especially in the last… you can't say anything. It's instant. Somebody will tweet something, and then people will read it, and then, all of a sudden, we're talking about this. So I understand it, I've been part of it. I'll go with Cory Taylor's line that was genius, like, a week ago or whatever. I can neither confirm nor deny that Corey Taylor is in Velvet Revolver. I mean, that guy is the real deal, in my view. It's just my view - but no, I think millions of other people think the same thing I do, that he's the real deal.

In February 2011, Slash admitted they had been considering Corey Taylor earlier but that it hadn't happened because Slash had went on tour with his solo band:

There was truth to the rumor that we were looking at Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour), but then I left for tour. So there's nothing being done at the moment. No decision.

In March, Duff would say Taylor was still a possibility, but suggest Slash prioritized his solo career over Velvet Revolver:

[Corey's] the brightest and best singer of a generation and I think he's killer. But I don't think Velvet Revolver is… There's not much urgency there to do much of anything right now, so… one day, hopefully. And I think Slash is probably gonna go make another record, so that's cool. That's what it is.

Taylor would also comment on the situation:

It wasn’t in the cards, and that’s cool. I made some great friends; obviously, I’m jamming with Duff tonight. It was just cool to kind of get together with them and jam, man. But it’s all good.
Backstage Axxess, April 20, 2011

Slash talking about how rumours on Taylor working with the band had spread, and that it was him that ultimately had put a stopper to Taylor joining:

Because of the social networking, and the way that information gets out so quickly now… We did work with Corey Taylor, and as soon as that rumor [got around], next thing you know, everybody is saying Corey's the new singer. And all we were doing was just rehearsing with him and trying him out — auditioning him, so to speak. So, in order to do that, our process is to… we take a lot of music that we wrote and we give it to him and he writes his lyrics and he comes in and we just perform it and record it and see. It's just an audition process; it's the way that we do it. So he did come in and do all that. But I just wasn't… It just didn't seem to fit right to me. And he's great — and I love Corey — but it didn't seem like the answer to the Velvet Revolver problem.

There is a lot of controversy over this one. Corey came down and we had kept it pretty quiet and then word got out that we had worked with him. And we did write some songs with him and made demos and all that kind of stuff, but it just didn't end up working out. But then word got out about him coming down way after the fact. So then it became this new rumor that was six months behind schedule. But it didn't end up working out.

There was a rehearsal with Corey. It was a songwriting session and nothing really came of it. It’s more my fault than anybody’s because I was like, ‘I don’t know if this is the right thing.’ Corey is obviously a fucking awesome frontman and he’s a great singer, but it’s just a different style than what I had in mind for Velvet. I was the odd man out on that one.

In June, Duff would talk about how he had liked Taylor:

We played with Corey -- I think Corey, myself, is the best and brightest singer of the new generation, great song writer, he's everything. But in a band everybody's got to be on the same page. And we're a democracy, and if one of the guys is not into it, ya know, because we're going to war together, once we, if we ever find a new singer.
The Rock FM, June 2, 2011

Matt would later mention Taylor had been his idea:

When we asked Corey Taylor to join, that was my idea. I said, 'Why don't we get Corey Taylor from Slipknot?' And he's a great guy, number one he's an absolute sweetheart and he rocks. [But] Slash just didn't see it like the rest of us did. We liked it. We had ten songs. [We] could put the album out tomorrow. It's done. I said, 'Let's go.' But Slash wasn't feeling it. If we're not all feeling it together, we can't do it.

In August, Taylor would again talk about almost ending up in the band and mention he was probably going to work with Duff:

I'm not singing with Velvet Revolver. We were doing some writing and doing some jamming and what-not, but it just seemed like there were different ideas as to what they wanted to do. And it was completely mutual; it was all good. I just love the fact that I got to hang out with people I grew up listening to.

Me and Duff will probably do some stuff later. Me and him, we really hit it off, and we're really close, and we started writing songs together, and we've got some really good stuff. So, you never know. There might be a mystery supergroup out there me and Duff and some other weird people making some weird music that people are, like, 'What?! That's them?!' So, yeah, maybe. We'll see what happens.
Fuse TV (via Blabbermouth), August 12, 2011

In December 2011 and January 2012, Matt would talk about why it hadn't worked out with Taylor:

We made some cool recordings, but Slash just wasn't feeling it. I thought it sounded cool. I mean, it was probably a little different than what Slash was used to. But I don't know… He wasn't feeling it. I have about nine demos that are pretty cool-sounding, I think they sound kind of loose and kind of fucked up like 'Appetite For Destruction' — not perfect, but like, something cool about it, a little dirty. Not like perfect guitars and shit, you know?! [They were basically] live recordings, where we just jammed and Corey sang. It's not the best drum sound, but it kind of works.

We were trying [to find a new singer last year], but it didn't work out that way. . . We had Corey Taylor; it's kind of well known. We did some songs, and it just didn't turn everybody on completely. So we, basically, put the brakes on that. I think I was a little bit excited to get going, but maybe that was more excitement than… I thought it was cool, but Slash wasn't into it. And if we're not all firing on the same cylinders, we don't usually… We respect that, you know.

In January 202, Taylor would also again talk about almost having joined the band:

What I would have brought to Velvet Revolver would have been more of the attitude that I think they wanted from Scott [Weiland], but they got the negative side of it, you know what I'm saying? Scott, to me, has always been the guy who -- he's much more interesting when he's being a d--- to other people than he is onstage, to be honest. I mean, he does the lizard weird-thing-dance and everything, but that gets old after a while. When you need that strong frontman, he just really didn't do it because he was too busy just being into himself instead of engaging the audience.

So I would have tried to basically build a bridge between what they had with Axl [Rose] and what they had with Scott, but with a little more good time feel to it -- 'cause I can have an attitude and still smile, all f------ day. I think, in a lot of ways, they could have relaxed a little bit, knowing that they wouldn't have to worry about, What's the singer going to do? Are we going to be able to go onstage on time? Are we going to be able to play our show without a fit being thrown? Are we going to be able to play the songs the way they were written?

I am a firm believer in, give the fans what they want. Do what you do, but give the fans what they want. They're the whole reason that you are where you are, and they deserve every f------ bit that you can give them.
ESPN, January 10, 2012

And in March 2012, Duff would talk about Taylor:

When you're a musician you are around your peers a lot, like Slipknot and Alice In Chains…you name the band. We're all just kind of friends. The Corey thing came up. If you're asking me, I think that Corey is the best singer of his age group, which is about eight years younger than me. He's the best pound-for-pound singer around and I'd like to explore that. And it still might happen one day. That guy is in, like, fifteen bands. But he's bad ass and the real deal and it comes from the right place with him. I have nothing but cool things to say about Corey.

And in 2014, Slash would talk how close it had been with Taylor:

[...] probably [the one that came] the closest [to landing the gig] would have to be Corey, 'cause everybody was rallying for him. And I love Corey to death, but something about it was just a little bit too… What's the word for it? You know how Corey sings. It's a very macho kind of thing. But it didn't have certain elements I thought it needed. So we just didn't go down that path. And that was the closest so far.

And in 2015, Slash would talk about what would be needed to release the music they recorded with Taylor:

Corey came in, just like a lot of other guys came in. Of course, Corey's Corey, and he's probably one of the best guys out there. I love Corey. I just thought it was a different style than what Velvet Revolver was trying to capture. But, still, the songs are cool. But if we were gonna do anything with that, they would have to be re-recorded and… 'Cause, I mean, it was very raw and very, sort of, 'making it up on the spot' kind of deal. And so we'd have to revisit everything and then we'd put it together, I think. But that's not really a plan. I'm just saying if it was… I don't wanna get any ideas in anybody's head. That would be the only way that it could be released, [and] I'm not saying that it's going to.

Last edited by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 09, 2023 6:43 am; edited 30 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:56 am

SEPTEMBER 5-14, 2010

After an eventful start, the European tour went comparatively smooth. The next show was at the PalaLottomatica in Rome, Italy, on September 4.

Thank you to the amazing crowd in Rome, Italy!! You guys were insane!! Had the best time!! We are in Milan, Italy!! See ya tonight!!
Dj's Twitter, September 5, 2010

The band continued to Milan for a show at Mediolanum Forum di Assago, Assago, Italy, on September 5.

Ya know ya had too much Jager when you get back to the hotel and get lost IN your room. Great show tonight, I fucking love you Italians.
Bumblefoot's Twitter, September 6, 2010

i might have to move to italy. the food,coffee,people are so good,and we had 2 kickass shows. what else is there?
Tommy's Twitter, September 6, 2010

The tour then continued to Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland for a show on September 8, 2010.

Just arrived in Metz, France. Crawling into bed after a fun show in Zurich, Switzerland. G'nite FreakyTweets!
Dj's Twitter, September 9, 2010

Thank you Zurich for being a great audience! OK, 3pm - time for bed! Wake me before the Amneville show.......!
Bumblefoot's Twitter, September 9, 2010

After Switzerland the band continued to Amnéville in France for a show at Le Galaxie on September 10.

Merci Amneville!! En Paris maintenant...
Bumblefoot's Twitter, September 11, 2010

that's a proverbial wrap!!! Thank you METZ/AMNEVILLE!!! this was tres fun! next stop! PARIS!
Guns N' Roses's Twitter, September 11, 2010

Then followed a show at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in Paris, France, on September 13. The day after this show they did a surprise acoustic show at L'Arc in Paris, France, on September 14.

Dj at L'Arc, Paris, France
September 14, 2010

Going out to eat with the band Had a blast last night at the surprise GN'R acoustic show @ L'Arc I wish everyone outside could of gotten in!
Dj's Twitter, September 9, 2010

Woke up one day and got an email sayin' we were gonna do an acoustic show, something came together quickly... cool, love those. I mean, they're usually chaotic and the gear isn't always the best, but ya can't beat playin' a show while putting your hat on someone's head, grabbin' another person's hand, being able to talk to each other, just having a great time, the band and audience experiencing it the same way, sharing the perspective.

Bumblefoot would later mention the show at L'Arc as one of the highlights of the tour:

Tour was fantastic, most fun I've had on the road! Great times everywhere, a lot of highlights... it's the 'normal' moments between shows that mean the most to me. But you all don't really care about the tasty fish I ate at some restaurant, do you? Haha. The Paris acoustic show was a highlight, being so close to everyone, being able to hug someone while your playing, that's a good thing... Moscow too, I love the face-to-face personal shows.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:57 am


I am a fan of Guns N' Roses at their best. And that said - and I think it's understood that, you know, the way I look at it is Axl and I have a perfectly authentic relationship. I don't blow smoke up his ass, you know, and I will say things that I know he doesn't want to hear. I don't give a shit. To me he's just Axl. But that collective in the moment on a stage when they were on, were better than the Rolling Stones to me and I'm a huge Rolling Stones fan.

In 2018, Alan Niven would talk about going through a period of depression after having been fired from Guns N' Roses:

[...] and I now tell you flat out I've had my own bouts of extreme depression post GN'R and I'm not letting much of a cat out of a bag when I look around and go, "And guess what, everybody in GN'R suffered from depression at certain points." And of course most people will sit there and go, "Well shut the fuck up, I mean, you got money in the bank, got chicks, maaan, Jack Daniels, you know, what can you get depressed about?" Well, guess what, you get depressed about fundamental things that affect everybody. Who do you trust? Who do you believe? Self-worth issues. Is this right? Is this wrong? Do I feel connected or do I feel alienated to the people around me? And there is no college course for what we'll call "success." I will say that an interesting way to look at success is to describe it as a figment of an envious mind. One thing you learn about an influx of money, and especially a sudden influx of money, is that it may eradicate the problems that you're focused on at the moment but it will present you with a completely new palette of problems to deal with and not all of them are very pleasant. So yeah, mental health, I think everybody connected to GN'R has gone through a rough period at some point or another, and I think that only speaks to the fact that, you know, we all have a humanity. So to make comments about mental health without empathy or without understanding is at the very least in poor taste.

He would also, naturally, be asked about Guns N' Roses on numerous occasions after being fired. His bitterness towards Axl would frequently shine through, and an example is when confronted by Mitch Lafon from BraveWords with the fact that others bands had also changed its lineup dramatically, as with Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake and Foreginer, and to which Niven would claim Axl had used "coercion" to wrestle the rights to the band from his band mates to himself:

I think it’s a matter of perception by the audience. You mentioned Thin Lizzy (Vivian Campbell is now in both Thin Lizzy and DEF LEPPARD), there’s a degree of acceptance in the audience that there’s a natural order of turnover. Vivian is a really cool guy and a great player and they’ll be accommodating to Vivian playing in Thin Lizzy. However, when you have a situation where quite obviously one individual has driven off the others, and furthermore, stated that he is ‘last man standing’ and that he alone represents the idea of Guns N' Roses and, by the way, Guns N' Roses doesn’t exist as far as I’m concerned. Guns N' Roses as far as I’m concerned played their last show on April 7th 1990 in Indianapolis which was the last show live show at Farm Aid that the original line-up played. That’s my personal and particular viewpoint. But in this instance, we have a situation where the first thing Axl did after he fired me was to have the rest of the band sign over the rights to the name to him exclusively. I think we’re looking at coercion and unpleasantness and meanness of spirit that elicits a negative response when they see a ‘Guns N Roses’ banner over a crowd at Leeds which is exacerbated by a Slash look-a-like who is doing the same moves and wearing a top-hat. Where there is a guy who looks rather similar in haircut and body language to Izzy and plays a hollow body guitar and you look at the bass player and think ‘well, that’s the closest they could find to Duff. I think that’s a tremendous deceit on Axl’s part. I think it’s an incredible insult to the people who made Guns N' Roses what it was… to Izzy, to Steven, to Slash, to Duff and I think it’s very callous and arrogant. I think it’s foolish for Axl to do it and I think it’s foolish for an audience to accept it. Let me be clear, Axl has every right as an individual to perform whatever music he wishes with whomever he wishes. That is a right that is absolutely unquestioned, but what I cannot digest is that he states that he is Guns N' Roses because on his own – he is not.

And later he would say that Axl "bullied" his band members to sign over the name:

[...] the fact that [Axl] bullied the others into signing over the name.

When pressed that it is unfair to Axl and a double standard to accept Coverdale fronting Whitesnake together with an entirely new lineup and not Axl with a new lineup in Guns N' Roses, Niven replied that the difference was that Axl had hired people to resemble Slash and Izzy and that this was a "con":

I think a line is crossed when you see look-a-likes with similar clothing and trademarks playing. I think then you feel manipulated and I think then you get a feeling that there’s an element of con to this. I think the majority of the fans that attended the recent Leeds and Reading shows would say that Axl sounded in pretty good voice for his years, oxygen tank and teleprompter. They were delighted to hear him get through the songs the best he could even though he was a little breathless here and there, but despite the fact that he’s obviously not 100% match fit; they heard some classic songs live that they’ve loved for years and they enjoyed the night out, but it wasn’t Guns N’ fucking Roses. It’s absolutely a cover band, Mitch. I just think it’s sad that it’s gotten to the point that you have people onstage aping the originals.

When asked about his thoughts on the classical lineup falling apart, Niven would take the opportunity to unleash a scathing attack on Axl:

It boils down to personalities and when that dissipated… obviously Axl has certain personality traits that don’t necessarily lend themselves to a group situation. It went as far as it could. It’s ironic to me to watch the BBC footage (of the Leeds & Reading shows) and hear him singing about love in his heart… I’m really hard put to remember a single act of selfless love that he committed that I witnessed. Unfortunately, I can say I witnessed a lot of negative actions on his part. This is a guy who lives alone and who has not been successful as a family man, for example, and to my knowledge has no children and he doesn’t have a family entity about him. I think those are all salient and indicative circumstances.

Izzy and Slash, on the other hand, would get glowing praise from Niven:

Izzy was the heart of the soul of the band … and the ebullience of Steven’s playing has never been superceded by better techniques.  By the way Iz and I were closest … born exactly ten years apart when you factor in the date line … he was also the most consistent person to discuss things with … I always thought of it as his band …the best and coolest composer in the band … great groove and deft lyrics … he’s a chip off the Keef block as regards rhythm playing and general presence.

[...] to me Izzy is the... he's the heart of the soul of Guns N' Roses. [...] [Slash and Axl] might be the big two big boobies on the front but Izzy was the heart beating in the chest. Now obviously both Slash and Axl are frontman per se but Izzy was the one who for me embodied the attitude, who is the most consistent and best writer, he had a wonderful sense of rhythm as far as his rhythm playing guitarists concerned, there was a sense of rock-and-roll syncopation in his expression that was perfect, the very first time I saw GN'R it was actually Izzy and Duff on their side of the stage who intrigued me more than anybody else, they just were beautifully centered and just had the sense of magnetism and I'm trying to avoid using word 'cool' but it was just the essence of cool from those two.

I love [Slash]. I think he's a wonderful person. Fame of that kind it's an extraordinary thing to take on, suffer, deal with, and joy, whatever, and there's no warning of what you're gonna have to deal with. There's a line in a Joe Walsh song about people changing and Joe Walsh staying the same and that's very much kind of the experience you go, that peoples' behavior patterns around you changes as no sorority or attention intensifies but I think Slash has dealt with being Slash with remarkable grace. I think he's done it with style and I think he's a really, really good person, really centered and you can't say that for everybody who's been through that experience.

And when asked what he thinks about Axl now:

With Axl, I’m simply disappointed. Not surprised, just disappointed. He seems to have gotten stuck in a time capsule. It seems like his muse still depends on anger and confrontation and he’s still going on about the cops, the promoters, the managers and everybody is ruining his life. I would have liked to see him develop. When he did Civil War, I thought he was going to become a statesman of rock n’ roll, but instead he became the court jester. [...] He’s still in the palace and it’s his palace and everybody else just has to bend a knee in it.

As Joe Walsh put it ‘I stayed the same and everyone else changed.’ However the lyric in Lifes Been Good To Me goes ‘but, simply, success amplifies characteristics, and he who does not know himself will be defined by fame and consumed by ego and arrogance.’ Axl was always Axl – he just became ‘more Axl.

The fact that he is still whining and complaining is just... I just don't get it. I mean, for God's sake, man. We opened the last interview you asked me how I felt about Slash, and I told you how I felt about him. I think he's been remarkably gracious and handling fame. I think he's of the light. I think he's a loving person. And I think he's a really, really good guy. And as far as Axl is concerned, what comes to mind is the statement that he who does not know himself will be defined by his fame. You tell me what he stands for, apart from narcissism, power and ego?

I think Slash has been very adept at dealing with this fame and done it with grace because he knows himself. When Slash gets off stage, and I mean it used to tickle me, you know, because you'd visit him in LA or something and you'd go out for a bite to eat, top hats gone, sunglasses are gone, his hairs pulled back and put it in a ponytail behind, and hardly anybody even knows it's Slash and you can sit there and relax and talk and be himself, you know. I think he has a a greater sense of grounding. You know, my question is regards to Axl is: What do you stand for, apart from your own narcissism and your own ego? What do you stand for, apart from an exercise of power around the sycophants around you? There was a moment of pure magic for me, in the Use Your Illusion period, and that's when I first heard what he was working on that became Civil War. And I thought that was fucking brilliant. In my consciousness he was Axl maturing into an incredible statesman of the medium to write a song like that and make a statement like that, I thought was absolutely brilliant. And, you know, and for me, brilliance in my perception is defined by John Lennon and Bob Dylan and I saw him moving to stand on the shoulders of those two giants. And then the fucker turns around and writes Right Next Door To Hell, you know. Which is about a little woman who lived next door to him who he beat over the head with a wine bottle. I mean, "Come on, dude," you know, "Perspective. Edit!" I mean, we all have shit to deal with in our lives and none of us is perfect, and we all make mistakes and we all have arguments and maybe not get on with our neighbors. But you're the front man of one of the biggest bands ever. What do you want to use that platform for?

And by the way, Axl, I was doing quite nicely as a producer, composer and manager in my own right. It was one of the things that he hated was that he couldn't own me. He hated that. He hated Great White with a passion because, you know, whether he liked what they did or didn't like what they do, to him they represented his inability to be able to control me like a fucking puppet, you know?

You know, you're reading through something and there's a sentence or a phrase or a statement that just seems to glow out of the text and draw you in and go, "Oh my God!" While I'm scanning through this thing of Axl's Adelaide thing and there was a thing that, you know, and it wasn't my name or his negatives or is bitching or is complaining or is lack of gratitude, that caught me. It was a statement, "Guns N' Roses is my life, it's nobody elses." And I sat back and I went, "Ladies and gentlemen, there you have it." That's how he sees it. It's his life, his band. I mean, he even had a a photo up in his apartment of the band and I think everyone's onstage, it was a photo taken when they were on stage at the Country Club, and it says underneath, "My band." I mean that's how Axl sees life. And he's obviously got, you know, he's a complex character and that kind of fame puts an incredible microscope on an individual psyche, I mean, not me, not you, not Mike, we don't have to endure that, we don't have people picking us apart like people pick Axl apart and my heart goes out to him genuinely that he has to live with that and he's obviously got a lot of issues. But his issues, I think, are about control and power. And I'm not a psychologist but I would suggest that that goes to a little bit of self loathing in some way. I mean, you know, has he had a wife in the last 20 years? Has he had a girlfriend in the last 20 years? Has he had his own children? Has he raised children? And Mitch and I are both parents, I mean, you know, we've had, you know, we're in rock and roll, but we still led kind of ordinary lives in that we've raised families. He hasn't. You know, that to me suggests an incredible level of self-involvement, you know, which is fair enough. I mean, you know, he's pursuing his life, his destiny and his fate. But I'm still left with the question of what do you stand for, Axl? What do you represent? Beyond power, ego and narcissism.

Chinese Democracy in some respects might be better called Chinese Water Torture. You know, because that's Red's modus operandus is: he'll make people miserable and make people miserable and make people miserable until he gets his way. And he's always done that.

Niven also had some choice words to say about Axl's appearance:

I mean, in dark moments, I'd look at him and I think he's a reverse Dorian Gray. You know that there's an old saying, "You all have the face you deserve by the time you're 35 or 40 and there are pictures of him in recent history that make him look like he is a reverse Dorian Gray.

And as for Axl's "complaining":

And in terms of his complaining. I buried him in the back of my mind years ago and I can still hear him complain.

And his lack of gratitude for all Niven had done:

[...] no appreciation at all. Where was he when we first started working together? Where was he when we parted ways? If he had any grace, he had at least say, "Look, Niven and I didn't have the greatest of chemistry." I was the only person on the face of God's earth who would say no to him.

Niven would also suggest Axl was bi-sexual when commenting upon the interviewer referring to some lyrics as "best described as misogynistic":

Axl’s muse is predominantly driven by conflict and hate … but, genderwise he is an equal opportunity junkyard dog … and then again, how sweet is Sweet Child. Or Rocket Queen. That is Axl as an angel. Maybe even a bi-sexual one. Who is the Rocket Queen really? Lets talk about those feathers, those little white leather shorts …. But yes, you’re quite right. And we all knew it, but I did not consider Axl’s statements to be gratuitous, so I could endorse them as sincere. On Your Knees was gratuitous.

Niven would also have some choice words for the band's tardiness:

In some situations, it is actually and genuinely dangerous to their safety and well-being at the paid party you are throwing for them. [...] Would you want to be on his crew, and have to break down a stage, at 3.30 a.m. and pack it and drive it 200 miles to rebuild it for the next night’s show? I worry that one day some sad accident will occur because of crew fatigue. It’s one thing to reserve the right not to be high-profile, to not pander to the insatiable appetite of superficial media, to be aloof. It’s quite another to put your own people at risk and not appreciate their contribution. Some people have little sense of appreciation and a high sense of entitlement. But one thing I will say about Axl Rose. He was interesting. He was frustrating and beguiling, but he was never boring.

Jack Russel, from Great White, would comment on Niven and his attacks on Axl:

After a while some of the people in this business get so comfortable that they feel like they own your band or something and it’s like “Wait a minute, I hired you, not the other way around man”. So I fired him. He’s pissed off about that just as he’s pissed off Guns fired him and I get that, I do. So, now I’m the antichrist, Axl’s the antichrist and everyone’s against him or at least that’s how he presents it in his interviews.

By 2018, after Slash and Duff had rejoined Guns N' Roses and the band failed to come to an agreement that would include Izzy in the successful 2016-2018 Not In This Lifetime tour, Niven would talk about how the band had changed:

Well, okay, I'll tell you what should be relevant about Guns N' Roses and it's, you know, an occasional dinner or something, or having a beer with somebody I might look at them and go, "Alright sucker, you tell me, what does Guns N' Roses actually stand for?" Sadly I don't always get the response I want. But the response I'm looking for is, "This was an entity that stood for the worth of every soul," and I'll use the line out of the song again, even the souls of "urchins under the street." And they weren't afraid to talk truth to power and they were anti-establishment and anti-authoritarian. And I think those are all thoroughly worthwhile aspects of a creative entity. That to me is fundamentally what GN'R stood for in a moment in the early days when we hadn't sold a record and [...] It's utterly worthwhile to represent that, and that to me is the best of Guns N' Roses. That it's the worth of every soul and fuck the man.

And again praise Izzy:

[...] it was Izzy's fucking band. I mean, he was the one who moved to the city from Lafayette first, he was the one who got the foothold in Los Angeles, he was the one I always relied upon for a response when I needed input from the band. If Duff was too drunk, if Slash was too high, if Axl was on the radar screen, I always could count on Izzy. And not only could I always count on Izzy but I could always count on Izzy creatively because he is a wonderful rock-and-roll writer and to me the best of Guns N' Roses comes from the marrow of Izzy's bones. You know, play Dust N' Bones, you know, there it is. You know, and to be fair, you know, maybe Izzy and I were fated to have a certain empathy together, we're born almost exactly ten years apart, you know, I'm April 7th, he's April 8th. You know, and we used to hang out together, you know, when we were touring, you know, when others were asleep or nodded out or crashed out, Izzy would be the one who'd want to go and play tourist with me. "Hey Niv, let's go and look at this," "Hey Niv, take me here," "Hey Niv, let's get an airboat and go chase alligators on the bayou," "Sure Iz, let's go."

Niven would also again talk about his relationship with Axl:

I'll say something about about Axl and, again, this is a novel observation but it's come in the moment, this I will say about Axl, I mean, it's no secret that for some reason he detests me and obviously I think he was poisoned and I obviously have an idea of who that that poisoner was, but the one thing I'll say about my relationship with Axl is it's authentic, I might be the only person on the planet who wouldn't blow smoke up his ass.

And praise Axl for the amount of work he had put in after Slash and Duff rejoined the band:

But what I would say is that I am genuinely awed by the workload that Axl has taken on both in the fact that the tour lasted for 18 months and the fact that he ended up performing for over three hours. Nobody saw that coming, absolutely nobody saw that coming. And you have to take your hat off to him individually for that workload. I mean, the guy's in his fifties and he's out there singing for three hours. I mean, you know, that kicks Pavarotti in the ass.

And also for being a good writer:

You know, whatever his style or what is closest to his heart, Axl is a good writer.

And whether he had attended any GN'R shows after 2016:

It's not something that I've been obliged to react to at this point. Would I buy a ticket or a friend of mine bought a ticket, would I go and accept it? No, I wouldn't. If on the other hand I got an invitation from the band and they were kind enough to send a car to pick me up and bring me home, then I would graciously accept.

In May 2018, Niven would again talk about Axl and claim that the decision to include footage of Axl and Erin Everly in the It's So Easy video was an example of Axl thinking the band was his:

So for it to come out now, I mean, you know, I hope he asked Erin whether she minded at this point, but it's, you know, I'll say it bluntly, it's the great band being compromised by the one individual again. Do I think it's appropriate, no, I think that's a bit personal. I mean, if you want to make, you know, bondage tapes with your girlfriend, you know, keep them at home, Axl. I'm not sure the rest of the band want to be associated with it, you know. And it's just another marker of Axl thinking, "It's my band, I'm in control."

Niven would also argue that Axl behaves in a certain way because of the date he was born and according to astrological charts of the sky:

We're talking about a Stella Aquarian here. I don't know if you've spent any time in astrology at all, I wish I had when I was younger and learnt more about it but- [...] Well, Axl is a Stella Aquarium. Look at his chart, look at where the placement of everything is, that is a motherfucker of a chart that he is born with and has to live with. I believe Clint Black and Garth Brooks are born on the same day- [...] And there might be some astrologers who say that sociopathy might be inherent in a Stellar Aquarian chart. Certainly they can see where there's an excess of desire for control and it might even extend to coldness and meanness. I don't know if Axl's ever been associated with those observations

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:57 am


After Paris the band travelled to Geneva in Switzerland for at show at the Arena de Genève on September 16.

Had a great gig in Geneva last nite. We did Catcher for the 1st time in a long while. Axl sounded awesome. See ya in Vienna. yippeeeee
Tommy's Twitter, September 18, 2010

The tour continued with a show at Halle D in Vienna, Austria, on September 18.

What an amazing crowd tonight! f^%$k That was fun! thank u Vienna!!
Dj's Twitter, September 9, 2010

That was a tough one... skipping the afterparty, stayin' in bed til we fly to Bucharest. Thanks for being a great crowd tonight
Bumblefoot's Twitter, September 11, 2010

A this stage of the tour, DJ also thanks all the fans for the welcome he had received in Guns N' Roses:

Just wanted to sincerely thank each n' everyone of the @gunsnroses fans, for all of the love and support that you've shown me since I have joined the band. It's been an honor to be apart of such a legendary band and surrounded by such talent. Thank you for spending your hard earned money to come see the band, it's been amazing meeting and performing for all of you. I look forward to every show n' eventually meeting you all! Thank you for all of the homemade signs up front, very cool!! Much love to all of you and again thank you for the warm welcoming. See you soon! Much love to you all. Peace~ @djashba
Dj's Twitter, September 20, 2010

Then followed a show at Romexpo in Bucharest, Romania, on September 21. This would be the band's first ever concert in Romania.

I remember the show two years ago, fun show!  Great crowd  Smile  I remember the food.  I always remember the food, haha...   wish we could have spent more time there.

After Romania they continued to Beogradska Arena in Belgrade, Serbia (September 23), for their first show in Serbia.

Axl would apologize through the band's Facebook account for being late to the show in Belgrade:

Hey guys, sorry for the delay this evening. I was/am a bit under the weather and appreciate your hanging with us. peace - Axl
Facebook, September 2010

Fun show tonight Belgrade! On the bus heading to Croatia, see ya's soon!
Bumblefoot's Twitter, September 11, 2010

After Serbia the band continued to Croatia for a show at Arena Zagreb in Zagreb on September 24, then to Czech Republic for a show at the O2 Arena in Prague (September 27).

After the show in Prague, an incident happened with a fan that Bumblefoot would talk about in later interviews:

One time that always comes to mind... in Prague, after a show, I'll give the quick version. A bar opened for us at 4 in the morning to all hang out in, there was one guy that went in and wouldn't leave and was telling people he was the band's manager (he didn't know but he was telling this TO the band's manager.) So you have guys from the band Nazareth with us at bar talking music (someone asks them a random question about show tunes and they're like "What????"), I'm next to them with two European models who are teaching me how to speak Slovakian, and next to me is a brutal bar fight with the guy that won't leave who starts swinging at the manager, literally blood splatter on the walls, while all being served varieties of local versions of Jagermeister. We go upstairs to keep partying in the hotel suite, and the guy who was fighting us is waiting for us upstairs, bruised up, with his family, and a camera, all with big smiles. He wanted autographs and photos. We took pics, we then went upstairs and hung out for about 20 hours until I had to leave and get on a plane for the next show. That's a typical night out.

Share some anecdotes. Okay, so the weirdest story I can remember is this one time in Prague, we had just finished performing. It was six in the morning. The hotel opened up the bar downstairs for us. So it was just us, except for this one kid, probably in his 20s, sloshed. We heard him telling the manager of the band, 'I am the manager of this band.' And we were like, 'Really!' and the kid refused to leave. So there was a full-fledged bar fight going on downstairs, while I was talking to these two Slovakian models who were teaching me the language. Beside me, there was another touring member of the band, absolutely zonked out, trying to teach music to these women. So he shouted, 'Do you like show tunes?' and these two were like, 'What the hell is he talking about?'

Picture all this going on at the same time! And then upstairs, we found the guy, blurred, along with his parents, and a camera. So, I went to him. And he said, 'I am really sorry, I am so drunk! Can my parents take a picture of me with you guys?'. We clicked a picture with this kid, who we had just beaten up. How weird is that! Then we went to the room of Axl (Rose), the frontman of our band, and talked for about 20 hours. The only reason I had to leave was because I had to get on the plane to get to the next country for a gig. Then Axl arrived, he was miffed and said, 'I thought we had two days off between the gigs', and I was like, 'You did man, you talked through both days! The shades were down, so you didn't see the sun rise or set!' With him, you are in the AXL time zone, an odd vortex where time and space defy the laws of physics. I have been living in that zone for seven years now!

One time that always comes to mind... in Prague, after a show, I'll give the quick version. A bar opened for us at 4 in the morning to all hang out in, there was one guy that went in and wouldn't leave and was telling people he was the band's manager (he didn't know but he was telling this TO the band's manager.) So you have guys from the band Nazareth with us at bar talking music (someone asks them a random question about show tunes and they're like "What????"), I'm next to them with two European models who are teaching me how to speak Slovakian, and next to me is a brutal bar fight with the guy that won't leave who starts swinging at the manager, literally blood splatter on the walls, while all being served varieties of local versions of Jagermeister. We go upstairs to keep partying in the hotel suite, and the guy who was fighting us is waiting for us upstairs, bruised up, with his family, and a camera, all with big smiles. He wanted autographs and photos. We took pics, we then went upstairs and hung out for about 20 hours until I had to leave and get on a plane for the next show. That's a typical night out.

The band then travelled to the Sportpaleis in Merksem, Belgium (September 30), then to the Zénith Aréna in Lille, France (October 2) and then to Gelredome in Arnhem, Netherlands (October 3).

Bumblefoot would increasingly post worrying posts about his health:

Leaving for Arnhem soon! Let's see if I can remain upright for the whole show without my legs buckling (thanks Jen....!)
Bumblefoot's Twitter, October 2, 2010

The band then traveled to Portugal for a show at the Pavilhão Atlântico in Lisbon (October 6) before travelling to Spain for a show at Palacio Vistalegre in Madrid (October 9) and a show at Velódromo de Anoeta in San Sebastian (October 10).

Madrid! You all were aaaaaamazing! On the bus to San Sebastian, watched Raging Bull for the 10th time... "u gonna bodda me abowda steak?"
Bumblefoot's Twitter, October 2010

The band then travelled to London, England, for the first of two shows at The O2 Arena, London on October 13.

Before the show on October 12, Frank and Bumblefoot visited the Witchwood School of Rock, a music center in Oxfordshire, where they jammed with kids [BBC, October 12, 2010; Oxford Mail, October 13, 2010].

We get to do something besides waking up in a hotel room, driving on the bus and playing on the stage, we get to be human and interact and share in a more personal way. When you’re on stage there’s a bit of a connection there, but not like this. You can’t stop a Guns N’ Roses show and say: ‘Hey, does anybody have questions?’ “The thing is, when we started we were kids, we were them, and we wish we had something like this back then.

Talking to the kids is always great. Time is tough on the road, but we try and make time for this, especially for something like this. This is a big deal for them, but it’s a big deal for us too. We never get to come to a town and meet real people.

After having played at the Witchwood School of Rock, Frank and Bumblefoot joined the Guns N' Roses cover band Guns 2 Roses onstage in Oxford, playing Shackler's Revenge and Paradise City with the band [Contact Music/UG, October 18, 2010].

The first show in London got great reviews. Excerpts from review by Greg Cochrane writing for BBC Newsbeat:

Guns N' Roses 'on form' for UK return

Guns N' Roses have played their first gig in the UK since their divisive, late-running slots at this summer's Reading and Leeds festival. Axl Rose, the only original member still present, led his band through a two-hour 40-minute set at London's O2 arena, finishing after midnight. Fans said the show was an improvement on the band's festival dates. "After Reading it was a saviour," said fan Jerry Cottel. "I thought Axl Rose was back on form tonight." He added: "Axl made up for it a little bit. At least he managed to finish with Paradise City instead of talking through a megaphone as he did at Reading." The band finished after the last underground train to central London had left, but the venue laid on extra transport to get fans home. Fans who stayed the course appeared united in their praise. Charlie Hope, from Bayswater, said: "It was astounding energy from all of them. It was really true to the original versions. "We were hoping for a Reading-style story, but it turned out he was very good."

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:57 am

OCTOBER 14-15, 2010

In October 2010, Duff and Axl met in London and reconnected. Duff would explain how it came about:

Things happen, in life, pretty crazy at times you least expect things to happen. [...] I haven't talked to anybody publicly about it. And really, it's kind of... I know we're public figures, or whatever you wanna say, but it was kind of a private matter even though we played together on stage in front of 14,000 people or something. [...] Over the years, especially in business and what-not, if you have a fracture in business, you start to demonize each other and if it's a public fracture in business, other people help you demonize... [...] It's really not that big of a story. It was really kind of... It was great. [...] I got to London last Thursday. I was there on separate business — a separate business event from music. I checked into the hotel in London I stay at all the time. And the hotel manager came, 'Hey, Duff, we'll show you up to your room.' He goes, 'So you're playing tonight?' And I said, 'No, no, I'm here on just business this time — I'm not playing this time around.' And he looks at me strangely. 'What? You're not playing tonight?' I had no idea Axl and Guns N' Roses were in London — I had no idea. So we're going up the elevator and he said, 'You know, Axl is in the room next to us.' And I had to go straight into meetings. All the meetings were... I was staying in sort of a conference room and bedroom — it was a conference room on one side of the wall and the bedroom on the other. And I went straight into these meetings and these were with sort of Wall Street people. So it was very serious meetings I was into, something I had worked on for a year. So I'm in these meetings and my phone starts ringing later on in the day in my hotel room; it was kind of managers and tour managers. The word [was] out I [was] in the hotel. And it came down to the simple fact... Axl and I just sort of met up, we saw each other and we hugged. I went down to the gig with him. There were a couple of guys hanging out. There was a lot of, sort of... Like what I was saying, you go through a lot of stuff in business and there's some fractures and demonizing of each other and I think, if nothing else, a couple of old friends maybe got over some of those hurdles and had a nice talk. And I don't want to do anything here to cheapen that by saying anything to you guys, but we had a nice dinner the day after the show, and that was it.

It just happened out of nowhere. Literally, I was in the elevator going up to my room and the manager of the hotel -- it's a hotel I stay at all the time -- said, "Hey, you're playing tonight, right?" "No, I'm not playing at all this trip." Usually I played when I go there. It's an honest mistake. "You're not playing tonight?" Oh, will there be an issue you're in a room next to Axl's? Right next, the chance of all the hotels in London, all the days of the year, all the years, all the floors in the hotel, you know.

Yeah, but it was a great serendipitous thing because I was being thrown into "OK, how's it going?" You didn't have like three days to prepare. … And I don't have any resentments. It was a huge, great, amazing thing that happened in all of our lives. Killer. My life's totally enhanced in a whole different way because of that thing, for sure. So I just don't carry it around. I've gone through a lot of things to work through some of this s---. It happened.

So it was great. I had no resentment. It was really great to see him. I don't think he had any resentment and we had a good time. We laughed. That's what you want to do with an old friend.

So, for me, the most important part of that – the chance meeting that our hotel rooms were right next door to each other. Great. You know, it was meant to happen. It was meant to happen for us to finally connect again, and what happened when we connected is a private matter. But I'm glad it happened.

It happened out of the blue. I was in London and Axl and I were in the same hotel. The hotel manager told me that Axl was in the room next to mine, of all the hotels in the world. It was more about us bumping into each other. We’d been through a lot together. We’d had the extraordinary circumstance of being thrown into a fish bowl.

Everything happens in life for a reason. See, I have a another business that has nothing to do with music at all, and my partners are with a London-based firm. As a result, I go to London from time to time. So I'm in London on a business trip, and the hotel manager is showing me and my wife to our room. Nothing's odd at all, everything's fine. Then the manager says to me, 'You're playing tonight.' And I'm like, 'No, I'm not playing.' He looked at me strangely, and then he said, 'Is it going to be a problem if your room is next to Axl's?' And I said, 'No, there won't be any problem.' At that moment, I said to myself, 'This is the time when it's gonna happen, that he and I reconnect.'

You know, say what you want, but some of us guys went through a bunch of shit together. You can't take that away, and you can't put yourself in our positions. People have quipped wise about our situation, but what it comes down to is that you're in a room with a guy you went to fucking war with. Everybody said we wouldn't make it, that we sucked. We played gigs to three people. But we believed in ourselves and we got huge, and we went through all of that together, too.

I hadn't talked to Axl in some time, but you know… I'm a grown-up. Martial arts has really taught me how to deal with a lot of things. The biggest thing is, Don't be a pussy. Not just with that situation, but in general - in life.

It was really not a big deal. None of it was a big deal. Seeing him again for the first time was great. I think it was great for both of us. It had been 14 years, and in that 14 years my life has changed drastically. Completely different. Maybe I didn't realize how much it had changed, but as I'm showing him pictures of my 13-year-old daughter, I'm like "Wow, she's lived her whole life and he hasn't met her." That's how long it's been. I'm this sober dad; provider for a household now. That's the only way I look at myself. I'm not some rock guy.

Anyway, I had business out in London and we ended up at the same hotel. I didn't book the hotel. So I'd flown from L.A. to London with my wife. We arrive at Heathrow; go through customs and we're ragged, but I have three meetings lined up and the first one starts a half hour from the time I arrive at the hotel. I've stayed at this hotel a bunch of times, so the hotel manager takes us up to the room. He goes, "Hey Duff, so you're playing tonight?" I said, "No I'm just here on business meetings. You should know; you booked the conference room for me to have business meetings." He says, "No, but you are playing tonight?" Again, I say, "No I'm just here on business this time." And he goes, "Well, it's going to be weird. Axl is in the room next to yours." I couldn't even really process it because I was there on business and it was completely not rock business at all.

So as the day went by I started getting calls to my room from the manager, and I decided to go over to his (Rose's) room, and we talked. We had a really nice, long talk. [...] Axl and I went through a lot together; all the guys in that band. Not just being in a rock band together, but sort of coming of age as men and discovering so many things together. Only the five of us really know what happened. There are books and I've seen crap out there of this and that, but no one really knows what happened except for the five of us, and it was quite an experience.

It was a bumble you know? No pun intended. Yep, I did. I go to London a lot for non-music related business and I stay at the same hotel every time I go and Axl’s room was next to mine this particular time when I arrived. So it gave us a great opportunity to reconnect and that was it.

I was in London for business meetings, the band was in the same hotel. What are the chances of that? The hotel manager told me: “I thought you were sneaking in for the gigs, so I’ve put you in the room next to Axl.” I thought: “I guess that means it’s time.”

Axl would also describe what had happened:

Well, it's like first he was in the... I heard him in the hallway, he was talking- [...] You know, people say, "Oh, it's just coincidence," I don't know what I believe about that for sure, but Duff was in the hallway and then I invited him to the show [...] and his wife were great. We went out and hung out a little bit, so that was nice.

Duff would also say he had missed being with Axl:

Yeah, I missed it. I did. I missed it. And it couldn't have happened in a more odd way, really.

Life can throw curveballs at us when we are least prepared. So many odd circumstances have befallen me over the years that I've come to almost expect the unexpected these days.

Two weeks ago, I flew off to London for a week's worth of non-music-related business. Mere hours after landing at Heathrow I found myself onstage with a friend that I have been to hell and back with, and lived to tell the tale. Axl and I just happened to be in hotel rooms next to each other. Unexpected? Oh, fuck yes.

Sometimes, though, it takes a serendipitous moment like this to put some important things into perspective. I for one was glad we were sort of thrown into meeting. I hope he was, too, for the sake of the pounds of flesh that we shed in the struggle and fray.

Mostly we laughed, and that was indeed great.

That same night, I found myself onstage playing "Patience" in front of 14,000 people at the 02 Arena. To put it lightly, this is not what I had expected when I boarded my flight the night before for my business trip. Crazy shit.

This chance meeting gave me pause for thought and reflection. Many of you have asked me to write about this gig and our meeting. Other magazines and whatnot have tried to contact me for a "statement." Really? A STATEMENT? I'll state this: Trust is built on foundations of granite. Trust is not built when a late-breaking story can prompt you to gossip.

I did an interview for our local rock station, KISW, about a week after the gig. They have started to play a new Loaded song in preparation for our halftime performance at the Nov. 7 Seahawks game as part of Veterans Appreciation Day. The song, "Fight On," was written by Loaded as a nod to our fallen and fighting young men and women. I was doing promo for the gig and the song (profits from the download will go to our Puget Sound VA HealthCare System). The conversation on BJ Shea's "Morning Show" naturally took a turn from "Fight On" to my participation onstage with Axl. I've been on BJ's show enough times to know that they wouldn't ask me anything dumb or be otherwise rude or untoward. They let me say my piece, and that was it.

I was so jet-lagged. I was there on financial business. The cool thing about that was Axl and I got to reconnect. We’re grown-ups, you know. There’s been a lot silliness. Lawyers and bull—. You know, lawyers like to create a situation so that their jobs go on. And I know that. But it was just nice to reconnect. We had a nice dinner. That was much more important to me than actually getting up and playing.

It was the first time I’d seen him since I left the band, thirteen years, and it was fucking wonderful, man. We rode in a boat together up the Thames to the 02, and we kind of went back to telling jokes to each other immediately.

Slash would also mention how Duff had been filling him in on what was happening throughout the day:

It was cool. I got an e-mail from Duff going, 'I'm checked into a hotel and Axl [Rose, GUNS N' ROSES singer] is in the room next to me.' And that's how it all started. And he just sort of kept me posted through the day [...]. And then the next day he told me it was great, everything was very cool, they went out and had dinner, and so they had that sort of, whatever, rekindling kind of thing.

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:57 am

OCTOBER 14, 2010

To crown their reconnection, Duff played with Guns N' Roses at the band's second show at the O2 in London, on October 14.

Axl introduced Duff this way:

There was this guy at the end of my hallway playing all this loud music and s---. What the f---? Oh - it's Duff!

This would be the first show with Guns N' Roses for Duff since 1993, 16 years earlier. Duff took over bass duties for You Could Be Mine, played guitar on Nice Boys and Knockin' On Heaven's Door, and played the tambourine on Patience.

The show is going on and I'm watching it. And somebody comes over with a bass... 'Now, I haven't played 'You Could Be Mine' since 1993. A lot of the other songs, like 'Paradise City' and 'Mr. Brownstone' and 'It's So Easy', I've played with Velvet Revolver or Loaded, but 'You Could Be Mine', I was, like, 'Oh, God. OK, I can play it. I think I remember it.' There's a bridge there. I'd forgotten the second part of the bridge, and I had to look at Bumblefoot [chuckles], his guitar neck, to see where the next guitar chord was. But, yeah, it was fun. I had a great time.

It was a little but heavy. When people saw it... It wasn't heavy for me so much. I was kind of more concerned about the band that he's put together — great, great players [and] great guys. I've gotten to know Bumblefoot and Tommy and Frank, the drummer. And, of course, there's Dizzy. It's a great band and I didn't wanna do anything to lessen what they were doing.

I played a few songs in the encore. It was really fun for me. [...] I played a lot of Guns 'N' Roses songs with Velvet Revolver. It's part of my makeup. We wrote the songs [together], so they're like my songs. I don't compartmentalize what songs are what, so it was easy.

Great, he's got a really good band. Nice guys, it's all good. I had to get right back after the gig, I had a meeting at 8 a.m. the next morning. "I gotta go."

I went to the gig with him and, you know, I was so jet-lagged and on so much energy drink that it was all sort of surreal by that point. You know, like, “I should be in bed right now. I've got a meeting tomorrow morning, at 8:00 in the morning. What am I doing here?” And then, all of a sudden, there's a bass in my hands. “What? Am I gonna play?” (laughs) “You Could Be Mine? I haven't played this song since 1993. I don't – shit, how does this song go?” But that part was fun. I'm glad that happened. I'm glad it happened, you know. But the way more important thing was that there was a sense to me that it was meant to happen.

As far as the gig, I was really jet-lagged and on Red Bull. From the first song, I thought, I’m going to have to do interviews about this forever. It was the first thing that popped in my head.

When we arrived at the O2 arena, everyone there made us feel welcome, and that went a long way toward making it an enjoyable experience. I had always wondered what it would be like to see this band called Guns N' Roses from anywhere but the stage. The guys in Axl's current band are great players and good fucking guys. I'd had a chance to hang out with a few of them in other contexts over the years. And I'd been a fan of the guy who replaced me on bass - Tommy Stinson - for decades. He was an original member of the legendary The Replacements, underground heroes of the 1980s. I must say I had a blast watching them all at the O2 arena - and the band played awesome. Then, during the encore, they hauled me out to play "You Could Be Mine," a song I hadn't played since the Use Your Illusion tour. I heard the crowd of 14,000 gasp and then go crazy when I emerged from the side of the stage and Tommy handed me his bass. Then I kind of forgot about one of the bridges in the song. Oops. At least Axl sounded good. A little later I had the chance to go onstage and play along with "Patience"
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 358

[Axl] asked me to come down to the gig and so I went down with him and we talked the whole time. I know the whole crew and I know the guys in the band, so it wasn't strange or odd. I came out and played, and the first song I played, you could tell the audience was excited, but I was really jet-lagged by that point. If the Beatles were playing, I wouldn't have gone all the way out to O2 Arena. I had a meeting the next day at 8 a.m. So only for Axl would I go down there.

[...] it was fun playing with those guys. There are some really good players in that band.

One thing led to another and I’m onstage and looked out at all the people and went, “Oh, I’m gonna have to answer interviews about this.” There’s nothing more to it than that really. [...] we played “You Could Be Mine” and that was like, “Oh, shit, I haven’t played that for a long time.” I didn’t have in-ears [monitors] like the rest of ‘em and there were no amps onstage and I did it by rote.

I got up and played a couple of songs with them. It was cool. I had to leave early because I had a meeting at seven the next morning. Then I wake up the next morning and this whole floor of the hotel is raging, there’s a party going on, and I had to say: “Hey guys, can you fucking chill?” But that night we all went out for sushi, and we had a great time.

Frank would later recount playing with Duff for the first time:

From the very first time we played together, we knew we were cut from the same cloth. In Duff’s heart of hearts he considers himself a punk rocker, and I do too.

Axl would describe what happened:

[...] and then I invited him to the show and then Tommy handed him a bass, you know. I said, "If you want to play any songs, you know, let us know," and it would be fine, but Tommy just hand him a bass to play You Could Be Mine and Duff was like, "I haven't played that song for whatever" and Tommy goes, "It has four strings, two knobs, man just go for it," you know. And then I ran out there, I'm singing, I have no idea, I look over and there's Duff, you know. It was fun, you know, and he had a good time [...]

Later, Duff would be asked about playing sports with Axl when they were both in Guns N' Roses, and mention that Axl was still graceful when they played together at the O2:

We probably shot some hoops. We rode mountain bikes after I got sober. He was a pretty athletic guy and he moves well. I just saw him a couple months ago and he can still move with grace and is very light on his feet.

Duff would also discuss what makes lead singers great:

Any good artist has to have had some kind of rub in their life, something real. Something you have to get out lyrically or you are going to kill yourself or somebody else. Those are the lyrics that inspire. The ability to tap the dark stuff and have it be real. Great lead singers have the ability to tap that. No inhibitions helps as well. Axl and Scott are two of the best front men ever.

Duff would also say the reconnection with Axl might have been even better if they hadn't played together:

That's what it meant: It was a personal thing. And what happened personally between Axl shall remain personal and private. And if we had never played a show, it might have been a little better. [...] Well, 'cause now everybody knows about it. People ask me now. I've known the guy since 1984. We became men at the same time. We witnessed this really fucking weird thing that happened to us. It was amazing and beautiful, but dark and fucked up, but we were the only ones in the fishbowl. So there are certain things I can't share with my wife or people who are really close to me, 'cause they just weren't there. They weren't part of the band. So there's going to be that, which bonds us forever. In London I was like, "I'm gonna go see my friend." And that's it.

I was there on financial business and not rock ’n’ roll at all. Our rooms happened to be right next to each other of all the hotels and all the cities in the world. So I’m a grown-up, and I went over to his room. I think everyone was freaking out that our rooms were next to each other, except for me. I realized it was meant to happen this way. We hadn’t talked for 13 years and that’s dumb. As grown-up adult men, enough’s enough.

So that was just a very personal moment. If there wasn’t a gig that night, and I didn’t go down to the gig with him and get up on stage, nobody would have known about the personal moment we had. And sometimes I wish I wouldn’t have gotten up to play and just kept it a personal moment. But the relationship is fine with everyone.

Duff and Axl at the O2 Arena, London
October 14, 2010

Tonight was amazing! Duff McKagan got up and jammed with us tonight! Bad ass!
Dj's Twitter, October 15, 2010

Slash would later talk about Duff and Axl reconnecting:

It was cool. I got an e-mail from Duff going, 'I'm checked into a hotel and Axl [Rose, GUNS N' ROSES singer] is in the room next to me.' And that's how it all started. And he just sort of kept me posted through the day and at one point he said he was going down to the venue with Axl. And I was, like, 'Wow!' 'Cause a lot of years have gone by. And so then the next one was that he was gonna be going on stage or something. And so he went and they did, like, I think it was five or six songs. So it was cool. And then the next day he told me it was great, everything was very cool, they went out and had dinner, and so they had that sort of, whatever, rekindling kind of thing. All things considered, the only thing I said about it was that... 'cause I know that they still ended up going on an hour late. And I was, like, 'Oooh.' That's the only part that would have left a bad taste in my mouth, supporting that.

And Matt would be asked what he first thought:

I called him and said, ‘what the hell are you doing?'


I wasn’t surprised because here’s the biggest problem with bands and people that have that much history. The communication factor is the biggest break down. People get between you and the truth. The reality of Axl’s feelings towards Duff are a bit blown out of proportion. Maybe the situation between Axl and Slash is more fired up because there’s a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes that even I don’t know about. But when he got up there, it was actually cool. He just happened to be in the same hotel, from what Duff tells me. Axl was having one of his moments (which he does have). He’s a very sensitive guy at times. I know that down deep he has feelings for all those guys. So, he just happened to be there and it was ‘ok, cool. Let’s do it.’ From what Duff tells me, he rode in the car with him and they were just chatting about the old days. They were hanging out and Duff got up there with him and he really put on a good show that night. I watched the video of it and he sounded better than ever. You could tell that he was singing more for Duff than for the crowd. A ‘look, I still got it’, kind of shit. He saw Duff and he was probably like ‘wow’. Duff’s a completely different guy from when he was in Guns N’ Roses. He’s a guy that’s running two different business columns. He’s gone to school and he’s got a family. Axl probably looked at him and thought, ‘who is this guy?’ He probably didn’t recognize him. The way Duff described it was that it was an organic thing and after that he hasn’t had very much conversation with him, but of course all the vultures swooped in and said ‘it’s going to happen’. Well…I don’t know. It’s one guy.

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:58 am


In October 2010, Guns N' Roses would hire a new band photographer, the former model Katarina Benzova [GNR France, January 17, 2012]. Benzova would join the band for their October 9 show in Madrid, Spain.

I've been with GN'R since October 2010. So about year an a half.

I joined them in Spain. European audience is amazing. Us Europeans really know how to enjoy great music to the fullest Smile

Benzova would talk about the band members:

The people that are talking badly about Axl or the band are the ones that never met them. How can you judge someone without knowing them? All of them are geniuses in their work, super talented and amazing. Really caring, honest, big hearted people. And I'm really honored to be working with them.

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:59 am

OCTOBER 17-29, 2010

After the two shows in London, the band continued to the LG Arena, Birmingham, England, for a show on October 17.

Ian Harvey, writing for Express and Star, gave the show a great review:

Whether you accept this current line-up as Guns N' Roses or prefer to think of it as "The Axl Rose Band" - the singer being the only original member - there's no doubting they know how to put on a spectacle. Giant screens, a huge stage with ramps for the band to move around, pyrotechnics and unbelievably loud explosions were all put to full effect as Rose's trademark whining wail cut through the wall of sound produced by no fewer than three guitarists. The two-hour-plus set was divided between GnR classics like Welcome To the Jungle and Sweet Child o' Mine, covers including Live And Let Die, Knocking on Heaven's Door, AC/DC's Whole Lotta Rosie and even Pink Floyd's Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 as well as numbers from the band's 2008 album Chinese Democracy. Letting all the guitarists and a keyboard player each have an extended solo spot was maybe not the best idea, although that did allow Rose to race off to change his costume many times over. But Rose's own piano introduction to November Rain, which took in Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Someone Saved My Life Tonight, was a thing of grandeur.

And so would James Watkins writing for Shropshire Star:

Everything Guns to He Who Waits

After months of speculation and mass media coverage, Guns N' Roses finally arrived at Birmingham's LG Arena on Sunday night to delight a sold out and extremely patient crowd. You have to admire the chutzpah of Axl Rose. The frontman of Guns N' Roses belongs to a wilder, more decadent time. Not for him the rigours of arriving on time or playing by the rules. During his heyday, the willfully anarchic outlaw epitomised the excesses of sexs 'n' drugs 'n' rock 'n' roll. On Sunday, following months of speculation and mass media coverage, Guns N' Roses finally arrived at Birmingham's LG Arena to delight a sold out and extremely patient crowd. Hearing the news that the band being would be nearly an hour late for their stage time came as no surprise to GNR fans and Axl Rose, rock's true demigod, waltzed onstage at 10.10pm to kick off proceedings with Chines Democracy. The light-hearted boos turned into thunderous ovation and hysteria as Rose screamed down the mic and lifted the roof in a way only he could. It was almost like going back in time as the effervescent frontman danced around the stage in torn jeans, silver jacket and trademark hat and sunglasses as the re-shaped band played through a set of classics, including the incendiary Welcome To The Jungle. Other classic GNR tracks on the set list included It's So Easy, Heaven's Door, and the epic November Rain, which saw Rose pull up at his piano for a three-song solo that could have made you believed you were back in the 1980's. The two-hour set failed to disappoint, even featuring the classic Live & Let Die cover, set amidst a massive blast of pyrotechnics and flames that lit the arena up like a firecracker. The biggest cheer of the night graced the power chords of Sweet Child Of Mine. Ending the night with yet more pyrotechnics and an awesome version of Night Train, the band really played a remarkable gig that brought memories flooding back and Paradise City closed the curtain just after midnight. They may be the most arrogant and tardy band to ever grace the stage, but if for those prepared to wait in line, they gave a performance to cherish.

The tour continued with a show at the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England (Octoober 18), Pabellón Príncipe Felipe in Zaragoza, Spain (October 22), before ending the tour at the Pavelló Olímpic de Badalona in Badalona, Spain (October 22).

i think that last night might have been the best show of the tour! Thanks Barcelona!
Richard's Twitter, October 23, 2010

Thanks to everyone for a fantastic tour - y'all have been wonderful to us, been a pleasure!!! Smile Where do we go, where do we go now...
Bumblefoot's Twitter, October 24, 2010

Barcelona... you sure do know how to break a leg! hehe Thank you all so much! peace.
Guns N' Roses official Facebook, October 24, 2010

But instead of returning to the US after this last show, the band flew to Moscow, Russia, for a private show on December 29.

I am finally heading home after a very successful European Tour!!!! So excited to finally relax a bit with the ones I love!!
Dj's Twitter, October 29, 2010

That's a wrap! спасибо to our gracious Moscow friends! looking forward to some R N' R before we G N' R Australia!!! Happy Halloween to all.
Guns N' Roses official Facebook, October 29, 2010

Before the final show in Russia, Bumblefoot shared his thoughts on ending the tour and transitioning back to normal life:

Something happens at the end of a tour. I start feeling the end closing in, along with that upcoming time to shift mental gears and morph back into 'non-touring-normal-life-guy'. It's a difficult transition when you're actually back home, 'normal life' is like a stranger and it can takes weeks of awkwardly getting re-acquainted with everything - driving past the places you're going and making U-turns, getting lost in a day that doesn't have a schedule sheet slipped under your door the night before... But before getting on the plane and getting to that, the change starts while on the road. Within the last few days, someone says something, does something, something happens, doesn't happen, you see something, read something, hear something, do something, don't do something, whatever it is, it's the 'light-switch'. It switches to the other setting, it's like someone just took your spirit and hit 'Send', and it's gone, already home.

Tonight was my last free night of the tour, last night in Moscow. Got to see wonderful friends, hopped around a bit from pubs to clubs, food, drinks, friend Gabriella (Brazilian house music singer) gave a great concert, another bar, a late-night soundcheck for our last show tomorrow, then back to the hotel at 3am. I *needed* the night to keep going, to sustain me, this was the end - and when it stops, it'll be over. Had plans to meet friends at a club - soundcheck ran late, got back, thought we'd head right out but had to wait on others who might be joining, waiting, took too long and friends at the club left, still waiting to go, people I was heading out with started fading, spent an hour sitting in the lobby waiting, ready to jump out of my fucking skin, knowing what would happen if I didn't get out. And then that was it. The switch was flicked, a violent flash, and it's over. My thoughts are on taking down the window treatments for the new window installation, checking on progress of the new concrete foundation at the studio, taking care of the car, making sense of a 3-foot pile of mail, paying the f**king property taxes, meeting with the Bald Freak folks and signing cds & photos that were ordered, getting boxes of CDs to the UK distributor, meeting with DiMarzio, TC Electronic, taking care of my injured neck (thank you Jagermeister, my 'Liquid Smile', for getting me through the pain), remembering to take out the trash Monday & Thursday nights, saying goodbye to my eldest cat, and making a plan for my parents' future, and how I can take care of them as their lives are changing faster than I can prepare for it. Ya miss weddings and funerals while on tour, graduations, accidents - sometimes the worst is kept from you because people in your life know the show must go on, and know you'll feel helpless and conflicted thousands of miles away. It can really tear you up. Thank God for Skype, for families to see faces and hear voices.

So that's it. I'm still here, will give it all I got at tomorrow's show, but as of tonight for me the tour is over. My body will be on a plane in 28 hours, on its way home to meet the rest of me that already left. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for a wonderful past few months (years!) It's been unforgettable - the high's and low's, the banners and bottles, sing-alongs, messages, photos, gifts, chats, and hugs... you all have truly been a blessing.

If I could do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing. And now, a month of racing against the clock, squeezing months of life into the next few weeks, then off to AUSTRALIA, where we flick the switch back...! SEE YOU THERE!!!

Te amo, ik hou van jou, je t'aime, lu`bim ta, volim te, te iubesc, ich lieb di, ti amo, ya tebya liubliu! Love ya!!

Tour was fantastic, most fun I've had on the road! Great times everywhere, a lot of highlights... it's the 'normal' moments between shows that mean the most to me. But you all don't really care about the tasty fish I ate at some restaurant, do you? Haha. The Paris acoustic show was a highlight, being so close to everyone, being able to hug someone while your playing, that's a good thing... Moscow too, I love the face-to-face personal shows.

Man it was great. We started this last run of touring in December 2009 and we finished it in 2010, so with some breaks in between. It was a solid year of touring. It was fantastic. We came to France and we did Amneville in the east, Lille up north, Bercy in Paris and then we did a little acoustic show. It was a great time and it was probably my fifteenth time in Paris, because I would always go there on my own as a solo artist before the Guns. That was the main place that I would tour. We played everywhere from Strasbourg in the East and to down on the coast, like everywhere and all kinds of places. We did the whole country between 1997 until November 2005 which was the last tour there. I was going to do more in 2006 but that’s when I started playing with the Guns and I had to cancel my tour. Since then, I haven’t really been able to tour on my own because G’N’R takes priority. So the last tour was fantastic.

Wednesday 13, singer in Murderdolls, a band that had supported Guns N' Roses on selected European concerts, would look back at the tour and talk nicely about Axl and Guns N' Roses:

Supporting Guns N’ Roses was awesome. I was terrified at first as you hear all the stories about what it’s going to be like and whether there will be a riot because Axl doesn’t show up. I didn’t know the band so all I knew was what I reading the paper. And we were a support band going up against a crowd who sold-out before we were even announced so we knew we were going up against an army ready to see Guns N’ Roses. But then we got there on the first day and met the crew who were awesome. They loved us and said we could use the whole stage, even use Axl’s catwalk, we could use everything. [...] Every night the band was on the side of the stage, except Axl, rocking out and singing along to 1976 with their fists in the air. Then about three-weeks into the tour – no one had ever seen Axl as he comes in right before the show – he came off stage after a three-hour set, comes right into our dressing room with sweat running down him and says ‘Sorry I didn’t get to say hello to you before now, but I’ve heard nothing but awesome things about you, my band loves you guys. I’m going to get dressed, come over to my room and we’ll party.’ [...] There was nothing that I heard of on that tour that was anywhere close to an audience complaining. He’s Axl Rose, he can be 15 or 30 minutes late. He was talking about that too backstage. He was just like ‘Man, I need to get in my zone, get in the vibe you know. I’m late but when I come out I’ll play for three hours.’ It’s like he has to play for that long. So he showed up late but he played you an extra hour of songs. He’s Axl fuckin’ Rose, you gotta hand it to him.
RockAAA, February 24, 2011

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:59 am


Despite Duff reconciling with Axl, Dizzy still considered the likelihood of a reunion to be very small:

[Being asked what he would say if the interviewer bet on the old band reuniting]: If I was a bookie I'd definitely take your money. But don't do it. You will lose. Guaranteed.

After Duff had reconnected with Axl, Slash was asked why there were still animosity between him and Axl:

Well, yeah I used to be really sort of negative about it, because I just don't see it happening, but at the same time, you never know. I mean, a lot of things happen that you weren't expecting, so it's probably a little, sort of negative of me to be completely like, "It's not going to happen", sort of grinchy about it. But, I mean, nothing -- no efforts have been made to try and do anything about it, you know. So, I guess you just leave it to chance. You know, maybe it could, maybe it won't, whatever.

I think there's some deep-seated stuff there. And it really can only come down to what was going on at the time when I finally said, 'I've gotta go.' And I think there was a certain sense of abandonment there. So it probably stems from that. And then even though I try to keep a politically correct tongue in this situation, I have at times really spoken my mind about the situation, especially when VELVET REVOLVER's first record came out, I was inundated with all this press and that was all that they wanted to ask about, and my first gut reaction was venting. So there was a lot of negativity that was sort of expressed then and has since been perpetuated by the media on a regular basis. So there's a certain kind of tension that just hangs in there.

Still, the media reported rumours of a reconciliation between Axl and Slash and an ensuing reunion tour in 2011:

The hot rumor at the moment is that Axl Rose and Slash have made up behind the scenes to make way for a Guns N' Roses tour. Bassist Duff McKagan played with what is now GN'R a few months back in London. If everyone can get along, and the music is where it should be, we would welcome this.

But DJ would shoot down any rumours of a reunion:

That's completely false. I know Axl really, really well, and he basically said that would be a cold day in hell [before they work together]. But, that being said, obviously I don't know the inside insight.

And Slash would do the same:

It's been 14 years. I haven't spoken to him in all that time. There really is no relationship. That's why it is frustrating when people ask about band reunions and what's going on.

Fourteen years is a long time to not be in a band for people to still be asking about that. Having said that, it's an appreciation, I guess, for the band from a lot of fans who care about it that much. It's very flattering that after all that time that the original line-up still has that appreciation. I try not to scoff about it that much but the Axl question is redundant.

In early 2011 it would again be speculated that the band was reuniting, now for the upcoming Super Bowl. The rumour was started from sports journalist Kent Sterling on his website, February 10, 2010: has been told that preliminary talks have already taken place to reconvene the most popular lineup of Guns N’ Roses to turn Indianapolis into Paradise City. Gun N’ Roses might be the only rock band with it’s members still living that hasn’t played a Super Bowl halftime show that could generate a real sense of excitement for what this year became a devolving mess.

After a significantly lesser halftime show this year with the overexposed Black Eyed Peas with Usher (who had to cancel a bar mitzvah appearance) and Slash from GNR, the NFL is looking to make a splash, and reuniting Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, either Steven Adler or Matt Sorum, and Dizzy Reed.

Alan Niven was derisive about a Superbowl reunion:

Forget it – the Superbowl is an absurd circumstance. It would be better to do a pay per view and play a full set ‘Live from Ground Zero’ when the World Trade Centre rises up from the ashes. That’s truly Phoenix like – resurrection and resilience expressed in a relevant circumstance – now that would be cool. And if Axl started packing now he might make the stage on time

Duff would shoot down this rumour:

That's bullshit. Pure, unadulterated bullshit. But it's a good story. You know, I heard it from my wife! "Hey, you know the Super Bowl is asking you guys..." I'm like, "Honey. Really?" Even in my own house, you can't differentiate what's being said on the internet and the real story. I'm like, "'s me. You think maybe I'd know about that?"

When talking about reunion, Slash would also suggest that Axl had wanted for the other band members to leave:

It's been, what, 15, 16 years. No one in the original Guns N' Roses ever said 'let's try to put the band back together.' Also, it's all about Axl. The reason that everybody left was because in the back of his mind I think that's the way he wanted it. So the reason why there's no Guns N' Roses was because of him. I've got nothing to do with it. I quit for the same reason that everybody did. So it's really his problem.

Eddie Trunk would suggest the feud between Slash and Axl could dissipate and state that Slash had said, "We've actually been pretty cool lately":

I saw Slash a couple days ago in Los Angeles, where I was giving an award for Ronnie James Dio’s cancer foundation, and we talked a little bit. He knew that I’d just interviewed Axl, and he asked about Axl and how he was. I said that Axl mentioned him in the interview, and that it wasn’t anything negative. Slash said, “Yeah, we’ve actually been pretty cool lately.” Slash is a pretty easy-going guy, and he’ll ride with the tide. But it’s hard to get a read on it. But outside of Slash, Axl is cool with every other original member of Guns. Izzy [Stradlin] comes out and plays with Axl and the band every once in a while. Duff just played with him. There are no issues with either of the two drummers. If there’s a rub with the Rock Hall induction, it would only be about Slash. In talking to both Slash and Axl, though, they’re both very committed to their careers right now. Axl is amped about this new GNR lineup, and I just heard Slash’s next record, which is coming out next year. It’s amazing. The media dwells on their relationship more than the guys themselves do.

Then late in 2011, Axl would talk about the constant fight for dominance there had been between him and Slash:

It was really a fight with me and Slash. Izzy was doing the same thing, but the fight with me and Slash started the day I met him. He came in, popped my tape out and put his in and wanted me in his band. And I didn't want to join his band. We've had that war since Day 1.

And Tommy would reject the notion of a reunion:

[The likelihood of a Replacements reunion is] about the same as a Guns reunion. They’re about nil at this point.

Interestingly, in 2016, Peter Katsis, who was the band's manager for a short period in the second half of 2011, would claim Axl had been open to a reunion back then:

[Axl] told me he wasn’t opposed to doing it at some point, and that he had no real issues with Slash.

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 8:00 am


Already in December 2008, Axl talked about his problems with the latest instalment of 'Guitar Hero' and how it had featured Slash:

It doesn't bother me [that Slash is connected to the Guns N' Roses name] unless it's being done at my expense and or to keep him associated as in Guitar Hero. Him being [in] Guitar Hero's fine but not when Activison is using 'Jungle', having Yahoo! use 'Sweet Child' unauthorized, claims no involvement with Slash, his or anyone's image or VR or anyone or anyone's music in either camp in promotion or commercials etc. I wasn't broadsided. I read about it as it moved along but Activision continually denied it right up to the release. That's some lowlife chicanery on all their parts.


Yes, Slash was in GUNS and on 'Jungle' (and the whole 'I came to him for his riff' is as much crap as him saying he brought 'Locomotive' and 'Coma' in as complete songs) and he has rights to perform it but not to be represented in this context in association with GUNS. And since they weren't granted the license, it'll take some sorting.

Then in November 2010, Axl sues Activision over Guitar Hero [Billboard, November 23, 2010]. The suit would state that Activision had contacted Guns N' Roses in or around February 2007 to request permission to use 'Welcome to the Jungle' in a sequel to the Guitar Hero franchise [Law suit, November 23, 2010]. It would also state that Axl vigilantly preserved the integrity of the Guns N' Roses name and reputation and that "in order to promote Guns N' Roses, [Axl] diligently attempts to channel fan and media attention to the current status of the band, including its current lineup, and focus on the band's current endeavors and plans for the future" and that "[Axl] and Guns N' Roses pursue a forward-looking outlook rather than one that dwells on the past" [Law suit, November 23, 2010]. The suit would also state that to certain members of the media, Slash was still connected to the band despite having had "nothing to do with Guns N' Roses ongoing popularity and success since 1996" [Law suit, November 23, 2010]. Because of this, the suit followed, Axl is "careful not to license any use of the band's name and intellectual property that would further perpetuate confusion in the public mind between Slash and Guns N' Roses or promote the individual interests of Slash and his projects" and "[s]imply put, the association between Slash and Guns N' Roses ended almost fifteen years ago; in furtherance of Guns N' Roses and to avoid confusion and dilution of the brand, [Axl] resists any attempts to revive or strengthen this past association" [Law suit, November 23, 2010]. The suit would claim Activision had been "keenly aware" of this, but yet "it began spinning a web of lies and deception to conceal its true intention to not only feature Slash and VR prominently in GH III, but also promote the game by emphasizing and reinforcing an association between Slash and Guns N' Roses and the band's song "Welcome to the Jungle"" [Law suit, November 23, 2010]. According to the suit, Axl had been promised the imagery of Slash would not be used, nor that songs from Velvet Revolver would be included [Law suit, November 23, 2010]. Based on this, on June 5, 2007, Axl authorized the use of "Welcome to the Jungle" [Law suit, November 23, 2010].

The game was released on October 28, 2007, and according to the suit, "prominently features Slash in direct connection with the use of "Welcome to the Jungle," exploits the prior association between Slash and Guns N' Roses, promotes Slash's and VR's separate interests, and includes VR tracks as available downloads, and in direct contravention of Activision's prior representations and agreement" [Law suit, November 23, 2010].

Cover of Guitar Hero III

Furthermore, according to the suit, Activision had realized it had opened itself up to a lawsuit and started negotiations with Guns N' Roses manager at the time with the aim of compensating Axl by floating the idea of a video game with a theme based on "Chinese Democracy" [Law suit, November 23, 2010]. Because of the above, the suit claimed fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and promissory estoppel on the case of Activision, and demanded that a jury would determine the exact compensation but that it would be in excess of $ 20 million [Law suit, November 23, 2010].

The court date was set to January 23, 2012 [Daily Breeze, March 10, 2011]. This would later be postponed since the first hearing took place in August 2012, see below.


On August 14, 2012, it was reported that after the first hearing, the judge had decided to reject the fraud claim of the lawsuit but to allow the breach-of-contract claim to continue [Hollywood Reporter, August 14, 2012]. A potential trial was set to February 2013 [Hollywood Reporter, August 14, 2012].


After a summary hearing in January 2013, the superior court judge stated he was inclined to dismiss the lawsuit because of late filing:

The singer's lawsuit wasn't filed until late November 2010 -- more than three years after the game October 2007 release. Rose has had difficulty claiming that he didn't discover the problem at an early stage. According to documents filed in the case, Rose's agent sent Activision an email objecting around the time the game came out.

During the course of the case, Rose attempted to explain why he hadn't filed a lawsuit right away.

"The reason I did not file a lawsuit is because Activision -- through my managers and representatives -- offered me a separate video game and other business proposals worth millions of dollars to resolve and settle my claims relating to 'GHIII,'" he said in a deposition. "From December 2007 through November 2010, Activision was offering me a Guns N' Roses-dedicated video game, a game dedicated to music from the 'Chinese Democracy' album, and other proposals."

Then in February, the suit was dismissed when the judge "agreed with attorneys for Activision that the gaming company never agreed to keep Slash’s likeness out of the game in exchange for the rights to use the Guns N’ Roses hit 'Welcome to the Jungle'" [San Marino Tribune, February 8, 2013; Associated Press, February 21, 2013].

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles Palmer heard more than two hours of arguments concerning the lawsuit’s contract claims before taking the case under submission on Jan. 31. On Thursday, he affirmed his tentative ruling and tossed out the remaining causes of action.

Last August Palmer threw out Rose’s fraud and misrepresentation claims because they were filed too late, but spared the contract causes of action. Activision lawyers subsequently filed another dismissal motion and this time Palmer agreed the contract claims also should be dismissed.

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 8:00 am


In June 2010, Swedish television was given a backstage tour at Sweden Rock Festival, showing the band's dressing rooms and backstage areas. Lesley Wallace, production assistant would explain that Axl and his party was still very much separate from the rest of the band:

This is the band's dressing room compound. And normally the band and Axl have to separate, different compounds, just because there's so many in the band and Axl has so much stuff and.. so we just kind of separate it cause Axl and his whole party travels separately from the band's party. It's always been like that. They get on really well when they are together. Each family works differently, I guess.

DJ would also talk about how Axl was the decision-maker but that he still wanted the band to be a proper band:

You know, obviously Axl runs the ship and you know, it's like, with anything it's like, he's very much, "this is a band," you know, and it's very much a family. It's really a tight-knit family. It's just been... you know, I've been treated amazing, so, I'm stoked.

[Axl] definitely isn't a control freak; that's the thing about him. I don't know many people out there — in his shoes — that would allow everybody spotlights on stage. I mean, he lets me freely write my own guitar pieces. I can do whatever I want. So, I mean, there's a lot to be said about that, I think.

And Axl would talk about how everybody was doing their job:

For me one of the really cool things is I don't have to get on at everybody in the band. Hey do this, do that, you know. Because they're excited. Everybody takes a certain amount of pride in what they do. Plus they all get on at each other about it anyway. Everybody goes out there and tries to give everything they can. And we stay out there a couple hours more, you know, until we feel the crowd is happy. Or until we feel like we've done a good job. It's kinda like going to the gym or something, you know, you don't leave until you feel like you're supposed to.

I feel great with the lineup and the chemistry and stuff. I feel like the right people helped make Chinese and some of the other songs that we've done. And I think the right people are playing them, that want to be here and found a way to be here, and fight to be here, and work hard here. And they all push each other, you know, give each other a hard time.  

In 2011, Tommy would talk about the bands he was involved with, and say this about Guns N' Roses:

Guns is a different thing in that it's a bunch of guys that come from all walks of life put together in this musical soup, and it has a whole different thing going on. It's more of a collaborative band thing - when we write, anyway.

Guns has been nothing but a good gig for me for 12 years now. I started it with no expectations. I didn't think it would last 12 years, but here I am.

And that Axl called the shots but that he would speak up if needed:

If I feel something is a really terrible idea, or there's something good we're not getting to, I feel compelled to say something. But for the most part, Axl tells us what he wants, and it's: 'OK, cool. That's it. Make the dream real.'


I mean we do, we hang out, we play together in and out of Guns N’ Roses you know. We are always texting and emailing and calling and hanging, and with Axl too. We text corny jokes to each other (laughs). I mean I can’t control the history of what has happened before me. The band… People came and went. I’ve been in the band for almost 5 years now and I’m becoming a veteran at it I guess if you look at it that way (laughs). So yeah…

People don’t want to perceive it like that and part of the reason is that we don’t do press. Like if we had band photos, then people would say “oh yeah, they’re a band”. But we haven’t had a fucking real band photo or anything like that! So we are not presenting ourselves to the world as a band even though we are one and because of that people, unless they know us or they have been to twenty shows or hung out with us after shows and stuff, they know but the rest of the world is just going to say “alright all of the famous pictures of Guns N’ Roses, they have the five guys from the Appetite line-up” and, yeah, that doesn’t help us (laughs). You know, having some good real band photos just to start with and then maybe people will say “oh yeah, they’re a band because they look like one”. I mean it’s perception. It’s not about what is the truth; it’s about what is perceived. Personally I think that we should be doing more to make the perception closer to the truth.

When we aren’t playing together, we call each other, we see each other. When we’re on tour, it’s exactly the same as in other bands; we’re on a bus together, we party…

People are going to think what they want to think. Axl wants us to be a band, so we're a band.


I don't feel like a hired gun because my heart is in it. My time with Guns is becoming "years" now, it includes writing guitar parts and recording, touring all over the world, being part of everything, and being who I am. That doesn't feel at all like a hired gun. But I know people love to assume the worst, haha, fuck 'em.


Being asked if it is overstated in the media that the rest of the band was always waiting for Axl on a lot of stuff:

Yeah, well there’s two ways that’s overstated. One is that we’re not usually waiting for him. It’s a huge production if the monster that it is goes on the road, so it takes time to set it up. But there is a good amount of down time from that, and there is the logistics of it all that you have to deal with. There are logistical issues that don’t have a whole lot to do with him either, as far as booking shows, and whatnot. So that’s when there will be downtime.

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 8:00 am

DECEMBER 1-16, 2010

After a short break the tour continued with its first show at Reid Park in Townsville, Australia on December 1.

The show was mired by sound issues and the band's late start.

Fans at a Guns N' Roses concert in Townsville, Australia this week say they were left disappointed and angry by the performance.

They’re calling for their money back after Axl Rose and his band came on two hours late and appeared to be miming.

“I think it’s an imitation band – it is absolutely terrible,” one concert goer said shortly after the concert began.

Audience members reportedly began leaving the event in droves as the sound problems continued.

“Tell Axl I said get stuffed!” one concert goer yelled at a TV camera as he left early.

“He sux, it sounds like shit,” exclaimed another.

Some fans did enjoy the performance and went to the airport to say goodbye to the rockers.

Reminiscing about having played in Townsville:

Strong memories of Perth and Fremantle and, you know, just visiting all the little shops over there and visiting Bon Scott's grave, paying respects, and going to the wineries in the area. Wonderful time there. What else? I mean, we've been to Brisbane and Adelaide and Sydney and yeah, and was Townsville? [...] That was December 2nd, I think it was or something like that. Yeah, it was December 2nd I think that we hit that of 2010, that we came down to Sydney. I remember I jammed with Fozzy and then we played in Sydney at the big race and had a lot of good times.

Then followed a show at the ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia (December 4), and a show at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in Adelaide, Australia (December 7). Before coming to Australia, Triple M quotes Axl talking about being excited about the Australian shows, and especially about a car race that was to take place at the same time as their show in Sydney:

To mix Guns with this massive Sydney event will be a blast.

We will be in Europe just before we head to Sydney so it will be great to come out and chill around Australia for a while, spend a bit of time getting around and soaking up the relaxed Aussie vibe.

When we came back in 2007 it had been about 14 years between tours in Australia and we had a complete ball.

Bring on Sydney and the V8 Supercars. Hopefully I can get a ride in one of those big beasts while I'm there.

According to Triple M, the day after Axl giving the quote, he demanded that the quotes were withdrawn [Triple M/Blabbermouth, July 14, 2010].

The band on stage in Sydney
December 11, 2010

Before the Sydney show, DJ would be asked about Slash:

I'm just happy to be in the shoes of an amazing, legendary guitar player.

Before the band came to Australia, James Hetfield, who had mocked Axl's personal tour raider in the 90s [see previous chapter], would be asked about Axl's 2010 tour raider:

(reads) Champagne, vodka, tequila, red wine. And beer. A bed? That’s pretty amazing. So he sleeps at the gig? He’s got cheese on here… It’s just kind of – you know, that might stop you up, Axl. And then jam and condom… mints. Condiments. Condom-mints.
Triple M, September 22, 2010

Excerpt of review by Sam Kelton in Adelaide Now:

RENOWNED for his inability to own a watch, Axl Rose actually managed to take to the stage at a decent time for a mammoth rock show at The Entertainment Centre last night.

The show was big in every regard; Axl's voice sounded as good as it ever did, the stage production was exhilarating, the crowd was buzzing and the band's huge songs stole the show.

But after the sheen of the opening pyrotechnics wore off and the back to back hits of Welcome to the Jungle, It's So Easy and Mr Brownstone were welcomed, the gig seemed to plateau for the rest of the evening.

A more apt name for Guns N' Roses would be Rose and (hired) Guns.

Since the departure of his band the singer has surrounded himself with some of the best players in the business, and their performances were almost carbon copies of the original tracks. In essence they were faultless.

The Australian tour ended with a show at the Perth Motorplex in Perth, Australia (December 11).

Afterwards, Bumblefoot would be asked about his favorite moment on the Australian tour:

Sittin' on the stairs outside the hotel for 2 hour after the Adelaide show playin' guitar with fans... loved the Sydney show Smile Taking my wife to a winery, and a wildlife park in Perth to feed the baby kangaroos...

After Australia, the band flew to the United Arab Emirates for a show at du Arena at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on December 16. Before the show Axl would talk about coming back to the UAE:

There is a lotta *** people out there. Oops, is it bad to say that? I played in the Middle East once before. It was for about 50,000. It was insane. We've been trying to come play again since so tonight is gonna be wow. A lot of rockets and bombs. We're excited we try to go all out.

We're just trying to keep the energy going and just go for it and see how it feel out there, you know.

Yas, it's a beautiful place. I'm so happy to be here and I can't wait to play for everyone out there.

Being asked about the continuous popularity of the band:

I think it's a lot to do with the material from the past and a hell of a lot to do with the heart that was put into it then.

But if we weren't putting the heart into it now, if I wasn't putting my heart into it, the fans, they're not gonna let me get away with it. We have to live up to something, have to work a bit harder because you're living up to the legend or a myth or whatever. It's more pressure when you're playing to live up to myth.

The diverse crowd aspect is actually the most interesting part for me because I think that pretty much sums up why the Guns catalogue has stood the test of time.

It crosses genres, it crosses religious lines, you know. It's music that people can relate to. That there is such a diverse crowd out there it makes it a lot of fun.

Matt Wilson, the journalist who wrote the Axl interview for Gulf News, would also write about the experience of getting a coveted interview and meeting Axl:

A bottle of water thrust into my hand, I was dripping with sweat having run the length of Yas Island. Only an hour ago I was casually driving to Abu Dhabi, to see a band that I have listened to and respected since my teenage years, when I took a call to say Axl Rose would do an interview.

As the voice explained at this point it was only a possibility and nothing was guaranteed, I could feel my foot pushing down on the accelerator.

I dumped the car on a startled valet, I hot footed it backstage praying for a call to say it was on and I wasn't too late.

I crashed down on a bench back stage, tried to cool off and set about scribbling some notes on what to ask the "legend" I was about to meet.

A suited man greeted me, listed the no-go topics and with that unknowingly increased the already mounting pressure. Rose is infamous for having a poor relationship with the media (understatement) and has been extremely vocal about this over the years. I knew the history, I was a fan, and I was now nervous.

The roar of the crowd out added to the atmosphere and tension and I was sure that would entice Rose and the boys to skip the interview with a pesky journo.

He didn't let me down. Ushered into a well laid out room backstage, tables we set for a posh dinner, akin to that of a charity auction, "not very rock n' roll" I thought. People buzzed around and the atmosphere was electric. A table was then rapidly cleared, I was plopped down at it and a few bottle of water and glasses arranged opposite me, I clutched my scraps of hurriedly scribble notes and my borrowed pen and waited.

This was it, 20 years ago I was a spotty kid, wearing ripped jeans and unlaced boots, thinking Guns N' Roses were rock Gods, and now I was about to meet their frontman, the voice, Axl Rose.

Then the severity of the situation increased along with my heart rate. Rose, accompanied by the new line-up, entered. I was shaking hands with Rose. The room suddenly took on a much more sinister feel. Colourful tattoo's, gothic hair-cuts, funky headwear and leather bedecked the band members as they took up the empty chairs.

The sinister feel was fleeting, as a relaxed, friendly, approachable, funny group unfolded. If there was any animosity toward all those who had previously bad-mouthed, lied about or generally slated the name of Rose or Guns N Roses, it was extremely well-hidden. They looked like a bunch of mates about to have some serious fun and the camaraderie in the group was clear. They have a lot to live up to and even more to prove. Even DJ Ashba, the newest member of the group, looked and acted like he'd been rocking with these guys for years.

If this interview, willingness to meet the press and the pure enthusiasm for their music is anything to go by, I'd say the days of Get in the Ring days are past and we can expect more November Rain and Paradise City classics on the horizon.

The roar of the Abu Dhabi crowd accompanied our chat and was an ever present reminder our time together was short. This is one moment that will stay with me forever.

Bumblefoot and Tommy would later talk about having visited the United Arab Emirates:

My first time in Dubai was with Guns N' Roses in December 2010.  It was a real eye-opener as to how much local bands there rocked - first hearing our support act Juliana Down, and soon after getting acquainted with the band Point Of View.

We played here five years ago and we did good. We played in front of something like 35,000 people. It was part of the F1 series that was going. We do good. It’s weird. Every time I think we’re going to the weirdest place possible, we end up going somewhere even weirder.

After this last show in UAE, Axl sent a thank you note on twitter:

I'd like to thank all our fans for coming out to the shows over the last year all over the world!! Was great to see you n' to be able to perform for you!!

I'd like to thank our fans on the web, the fan sites, n' all our fans on Twitter, Facebook n' Myspace.

I'd like to thank the band, their families, The Sebastian Bach Band, Danko Jones, Murder Dolls, Korn, Imperial State Electric, Julianna Down, Gum X, Mucc, their crews, the TPB's, Duff, our crew, production, staging, lights, sound, pyro, video, management, our business n' legal team, my family n' friends, the promoter's, agents, catering, security, the shot girlz, drivers, our travel agents n' the staffs at our hotels, trucking, airlines, flight crews, airport security, bus n' transportation companies, everyone who chose to say or write a nice word about us, the venues n' their staffs n' security, the countries, cities n' Customs all over the world, club owners, their staffs, club promoters, sponsors n' all of our friends around the globe who helped make things happen!!

I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas n' Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah n' a great Holiday Season to everyone!!

And from everyone with Guns N' Roses:

All the best to you n' your's!!

Peace n' Love,


In early 2011, Tommy would discuss the extensive touring he had done with Guns N' Roses:

Yeah, we usually go out pretty big and usually I have a lot of fun with it and it's a lot of work. It's a big production when it goes out. [...] We just did 10 weeks. 10 weeks straight in Europe. And boy, that was a burner that really, that torched everyone pretty great. Because, you know, you're going from country to country and for ten weeks. It's a long time to be away from your family. Especially when you're getting, you know, up there in years.

And mention how they had got stuck in London because of snowfall:

We got stuck in Heathrow- [...] that really was just unbelievable. But you know we were lucky in that we had hotel rooms. There was a lot of older folks and people with kids that slept at Heathrow airport, I'm telling you. We're going to hear something worse about what really happened I'm sure, but I'm sure those are dispute between the airlines and the people who own the airport, or something along those lines. It's going to come out and be scandalous, and I think they're gonna hope.... They're gonna wait until winter is gone so it doesn't really sting as much. But they really screwed up. I think there's a real- [...] Man, they had four inches of snow on the ground and little ice. I mean there was nothing. Florida can deal with that. You know what I mean? You know, Miami Airport could deal with that. [...] [It took us] A week to get out. They got so backlogged. And it's an international hub. And there's, you know, they're international hub for everywhere in the world. Sure, that makes sense. But man, you can't convince me that four inches of snow can do that by itself. There's something behind the scenes, I'm sure we'll hear about in spring.

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Post by Soulmonster Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:19 pm

DECEMBER 7, 2010

In August 2010, Sebastian Bach would discuss Axl and suggest his controversial behaviour was connected to his extraordinary voice:

Nobody has helped me more in the music industry than Axl Rose. [...] Everybody has all these theories as to why he acts the way he acts. And there's no big mystery. He tells me the source of all of the insanity — it's his voice. It's his job to sing like that, and sometimes that sound is hard for him. And a lot of singers, you know... To sing in that range is just not an easy thing to do. And he does what he can, and if it takes him forty-five more minutes to warm up his pipes so he can sing 'Sweet Child O' Mine'... I mean, you drive around in your car and put on Guns N' Roses and just go for it. [Laughs]
94 WYSP/Blabbermouth, August 31, 2010

Then at the end of the year, the readers of the magazine Music Radar voted Axl as the greatest lead singer of all time:

The public have spoken, and we can’t think of a more contentious choice for the greatest lead singer of all time. Forget the moustachioed, cornrowed croaking caricature of recent years and think back to the late 1980s. Axl Rose: dangerous, lean, angry, confrontational, controversial; the hotheaded, horny ginger stepchild of Steven Tyler and Robert Plant, a born rock star who made being fashionably late a lifestyle choice and started riots in the process.

The list:

1. Axl Rose (Guns N' Roses)
2. Freddie Mercury (Queen)
3. Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin)
4. Ronnie James Dio (Rainbow, Dio, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell)
5. John Lennon (The Beatles)
6. Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden)
7. Thom Yorke (Radiohead)
8. Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)
9. Matt Bellamy (Muse)
10. Paul McCartney (The Beatles, Wings)
11. Jim Morrison (The Doors)
12. James Hetfield (Metallica)
13. Maynard James Keenan (Tool)
14. Mick Jagger (The Rolling Stones)
15. James LaBrie (Dream Theater)
16. Bon Scott (AC/DC)
17. Steven Tyler (Aerosmith)
18. Roger Daltrey (The Who)
19. Geddy Lee (Rush)
20. Morrissey (The Smiths)
21. Liam Gallagher (Oasis)
22. Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs)
23. Joe Strummer (The Clash)
24. Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac)
25. Iggy Pop (The Stooges)
26. Smokey Robinson (The Miracles)
27. Black Francis / Frank Black (Pixies)
28. Diana Ross  (The Supremes)
29. Debbie Harry (Blondie)
30. Martha Reeves (Martha And The Vandellas)

Axl responded:

Thank you for all of the support you give us day in day out. All you folks on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, the message boards that fight the good fight - we feel it and very much appreciate it - THANK YOU!. And special thanks to MusicRadar for holding the poll and letting people speak. - Axl
Facebook, December 11, 2010

And Slash would make a comment:

I thought that was actually pretty f—ing cool. [...] All things considered, we may have had our differences and this and that and the other, but I will never undermine the fact that I thought Guns N’ Roses, when it was originally together, was one of the best rock bands, and Axl has always in my mind been one of the best frontmen/lyricists in rock and roll, period.

And being asked if his vote would have gone to Axl, too:

It might have been. I never stop to even think about it — there’s him, Roger Daltrey, Steven Tyler, Robert Plant, Mick Jagger…. I’d probably say Mick Jagger, only because Mick has been doing it for so long and he’s one of the most charismatic frontmen of all time. But if I had a Top 5, Axl would be in there. And John Lennon…

Not long after, Matt would also praise Axl's voice and abilities as a singer:

[Axl was a] great frontman. Probably one of the greatest ever. [...] the realness and truth behind Axl Rose is everything that comes out of that speaker and that voice and every reason any fan loved Guns N' Roses was you felt like you were speaking directly to him.

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Post by Soulmonster Wed Feb 23, 2022 8:16 am



In august 2010, Bumblefoot would say that the band hadn't written any new music together yet:

We all can write, but we haven't done that yet.

Around the same time, Bumblefoot would admit there was a lot music that had already been written a long time ago, but that he personally wanted for the band to make new music together:

There's a lot of music from 10 years ago, when Chinese Democracy songs were written. But my feeling is that we need this current band to be in the studio now, writing music now. Even the new songs are 10 years old, so we should really writing something current, with the band members that are actually playing in it. There should be me, Frank, Chris, Dizzy, Axl, Tommy, Richard and DJ in a studio and spending a week there and walking out with one great song. And I would love to take that one song and when we go on tour, give it to radio stations, have fans downloaded and we play it live. And the next time we do a leg of a tour for a month or two, before we go, we go in the studio again and we record one song for a week. Every time we play we'll have a new song, that we wrote, that's us playing on it and that's current and that reflex the world today and who we are today. These are my ideas, but it's not up to me.

In November, DJ would state that they were discussing a follow-up now, that it wouldn't take so long, and that Axl had a lot of good music:

We're talking about that right now. You know, we've been throwing around a bunch of ideas and it should be good, man. We’ve got a lot of good stuff on the plate coming out. It won't take as long, I promise (chuckles). Yeah, I'm excited to get this next one rolling. A lot of great fuckin’… You know, Axl has a lot of good shit up his sleeve, so I’m really excited about it.

Just a few days later, Bumblefoot would quickly correct DJ's comments on his Facebook page:

We've yet to get in a room and write as a band. [I] know D.J. mentioned something about a new album, but don't want y'all expecting anything soon. Other than old unreleased Chi Dem songs, songs need to be written, jammed, recorded, tweaked, re-worked, re-recorded, mixed, re-mixed, mastered, re-mastered, art, new art, label approval, a game plan from the label that Axl approves.... not as simple when it's on such a big scale... (Just don't want ya getting frustrated if a GN'R album doesn't happen quick...)

In January 2011, Bumblefoot again talked about the next album and when asked if Sebastian Bach was correct in saying a trilogy of albums was planned, reinstating that they hadn't written anything new but that there was enough music from before for two more albums:

You know I really can’t say because there’s nothing to tell. It’s frustrating for me because there is nothing to tell about the future of G’N’R because it changes minute to minute. As far as a trilogy is concerned, I don’t know. There is enough music for another two albums, but these are all 10 year old recordings from the Chinese Democracy sessions. Those songs are not new songs and this current band, this relevant band that contains me and DJ and Richard and Frank on drums, we have yet to get in a studio together and sit down on the floor with guitars and just start writing. We have not done that. The only music that is going to be coming out at this point that I see from G’N’R is going to be from 10 years ago with players that have been gone for 5 years and maybe alternative mixes of songs. So it’s like a big chapter in Axl’s musical life that has yet to be closed. I have no idea.

And in April he would be asked when a follow-up album would come:

I can't predict anything and I don't try, haha.


DJ, interestingly, would claim they were working on new songs every day, which contradicts Bumblefoot's comments above:

[...] we're working on new songs every day for Guns N' Roses.

Yet, about a month later he would suggest they hadn't written anything together:

[...] I just cannot wait to sit down with an acoustic guitar and just write. [Axl]'s just got this gift that's very, very rare.

Dizzy was asked if people could expect a follow-up album soon:

[...] no, GNR is taking some time off right now.

And Tommy would talk about what a "daunting task" a new record would be:

I think the next thing is really going to have to be someone trying to organize a record and getting it together. I think there's a really good band there to do it. But, you know, the thought of it is more daunting than a 'Mats or a Soul Asylum record combined.

Around the same time, DJ would claim Axl already had three albums recorded:

Axl has a lot of great songs up his sleeve. He probably has three albums worth of stuff recorded.

In June 2011, DJ would say that he had been working on GN'R music in his own studio and that they hadn't sat down and gone through all the music:

I’ve been demoing tons of stuff in my studio; I think the ultimate goal is to sit down and go through everything, and put together what he feels would be the next best thing for Guns N’ Roses. I’ll do whatever I can to help him meet that vision.

When asked if they were working on a new record:

Yeah, yeah, yeah! Well. Axl has so many amazing songs. I've sat in his hotel room and listened to him play the piano - the guy is a music genius. I mean, he'll be sitting there playing shit that is like the next "November Rain" type stuff and he'll say 'Oh it's just something I'm tinkering with.' The guy has so many great song ideas, not to mention he has like three albums worth of material just sit-ting there, really great stuff. I've been doing demos in my studio around the clock and I've got a shitload of ideas so together we're going to go through and put to-gether an amazing GNR record.

This fits with what Bumblefoot had said previously. What is unclear is to whether the demos DJ worked on were unreleased songs from the Chinese Democracy sessions or new songs DJ had written which he hoped would end up on a new Guns N' Roses record.

DJ would also talk about the wealth of material that Axl already had:

I've worked with a lot of talented people, but this guy, I'm telling you, he has songs up his sleeve that I've sat down at the piano with him, and literally, my jaw hits the piano bench. He has a lot of songs up his sleeve. Obviously, I'm in the band, and I have no reason to kiss his ass, I'm just kind of putting it out as it is. The guy is just fucking incredible. The songs that he has that no one's heard… I pray to God one day people get to hear what he has up his sleeve, because me being a fan for one, but the shit is just awesome. And I can't wait to get in and work on some stuff with him. And I know he's really excited to get in a room, too, so I think us together, we're gonna do a lot of damage. And this band he's put together is just incredible musicians — I mean, top-notch players. He definitely put together an amazing band and he has, like, three albums' worth of shit up his sleeve that's just gonna floor people. I'm really excited about it.

And that he had also been sending Axl songs that he hoped would be new Guns N' Roses songs:

And I've been writing around the clock, constantly sending him songs, too. So it's good; it's really good.

As for whether Axl was open to collaborate on new songs:

Axl definitely is open to writing with the band. I know Robin Finck helped him write 'Better', the single that was out. I know a lot of the guys had a lot of input on the album. He's always been really open.

And when a new album could be out:

Well, it won't be 15 years, I promise you. [Laughs] The thing about Axl, and what I do respect about him, he doesn't give a fuck about, like, if a label person is trying to hurry him for a record. The one thing is, he is the real deal, he is a true artist — he will not release a record until he knows in his heart it's ready. And that's exactly how we are with SIXX: A.M. — we won't turn a record in… It doesn't matter if it takes five years. And it doesn't really matter to us if it doesn't sell a record, because when you're doing something from a very true place and you're being true to yourself, none of that matters, really. At the end of the day, you just wanna leave a song here that you're gonna be proud of long after you're gone. So if you go into that mindframe and not, 'OK, this sounds like a hit.' Or 'We've gotta change this to sound more like this band because they're doing really good.' It's not real. So the one thing, whether you like 'Chinese' or hate it, it's real. And it definitely is a very brilliant artistic record. I think it's an amazing record. Will the next one take as long? No. I mean, what people don't realize is 'Chinese' didn't take 15 years. He literally has, like, four albums' worth of… I mean, he has tons and tons of songs. So whenever he feels like, OK, this is what he wants to release next… It's his call, it's his vision, so I'm just here to do whatever I can to bring that vision to life for him, or with him.

At the tail-end of August, Tommy would confirm they had left-over material from Chinese Democracy [Soundspike, August 30, 2011] but that they hadn't recorded anything new in a while and that they likely wouldn't before the next round of touring ended:

We haven't recorded in a while and I don't see us doing so in the near future; we have those upcoming dates.

Then in October, DJ would again say they were indeed working on new music:

I have been working in a lot of material, but we already have lots of finished stuff. Axl has a lot, a lot of things remaining from Chinese that are really good, and we have been working and re-recording and writing new stuff everyday.

Who are the "we" DJ is referring to in the quote above? Was DJ and Axl working on new music together without the rest of the band being aware of this? Later in the same interview, DJ would talk about having a "special music connection" with Axl, which could mean the two of them, at least, had been working on new music:

[...] my big objective is to release the biggest and best Guns N' Roses album of all times. This is my objective in this band and I know we can do it. I'm very excited to be in this band with Axl and all the other guys. Working with Axl, that knows lot of people, and that is producing new music all the time... Axl and I simply have a special music connection, we understand each other very well. I sit down, and when he starts to play something on the piano feels like if I know exactly what I have to do.

I think everybody's main focus is on putting out the ultimate Guns N' Roses record.

A few days later, DJ would mention he had written a "bunch of stuff" for Axl:

Absolutely! That’s our main focus. Obviously with me being a song writer and producer, when I got the phone call, I knew I could bring something to the table because I grew up on this music. I cut my teeth on guys like Slash and have the utmost respect for his guitar playing and style. I feel I get where he was coming from. No one will ever replace him, and that’s not why I’m here. I felt I could do the gig justice and stay true to the vision. That’s why I got involved. I really wanted to work with Axl and I thought I could bring something to the table. Axl has a lot of material. I’ve written a bunch of stuff for him.

Around the same time, DJ would be explicitly asked if he had been working with Axl as a songwriter:

Yeah, we have. I've written quite a few songs and he has tons and tons of songs sitting around. Our main focus is writing for a new record, so that's what everybody's excited about.

He would also say he had written a "bunch of stuff" for GN'R:

And [a new record] our main focus right now with it and obviously me being a songwriter and a producer it's like, you know, that, like I said, I don't jump into anything just to jump into something and, you know, when I got the phone call it's something I knew, you know, like I grew up same way when I, you know, co-wrote and co-produced Motley Crue stuff, you know, I knew that I could bring something to the table because I understood the music, because I grew up on it. And, you know, I feel the same with Guns, you know, and, you know, Slash's, you know, I grew up, you know, cutting my teeth on people like Slash and I have the most, you know, utmost respect for his guitar playing and his style and stuff and I really feel I get where he's, you know, where he's coming from on that end. And so, you know, no one will ever replace him and that's not why I'm here, but it's just to do, you know, I felt I could do the gig justice as far as staying true to the vision of where everything left off. And so, you know, that's kind of kind of why I got involved, because I really wanted to work with Axl and I thought, you know, I could really bring some to the table and I think, you know, that the.... you know, he has a lot of material, I mean, everybody thinks... you know, Chinese took, you know, all these years, which it did, but what they don't realize is, you know, he has just a shit ton of music, and really good music, you know, just sitting there. And, you know, I've written a bunch of stuff, a bunch of stuff for him, too. So yeah, I mean that's the goal, is to to put out, you know, hopefully the next best Guns N' Roses record, you know, that we possibly could-

Again, it is not entirely clear if Axl and DJ had been working on new songs together, or if DJ had been working on new songs on his own that he hoped Axl would like.

In early November, Dizzy would say there were writing new music on tour, but he might not have meant for Guns N' Roses:

I think, you know, all of us, as musicians and those of us that would consider ourselves composers, are always writing. I have a studio I take with me everywhere, and when I’m home that’s pretty much all I do. There’s so much material that’s been recorded in the past, that might put its head up sometime. We’re always writing.

And when asked if people could expect a new album soon, he suggested it would take some time for that to happen:

Hopefully, that’s the plan. But right now, we’re out there rocking ‘Chinese Democracy’ and some of the older classic songs, maybe some new surprises, and that’s that. But I know, there’s always something brewing. There should be some new music coming out at some point for sure.

And Tommy would echo that they were not working on a new album, at least not together:

I'm not going to say a whole lot about that, but I tell you right now that I certainly hope we do another album. I would love to get everyone back into the studio and make some more stuff happen. I think we have a good band, and each of us has something interesting to offer. I hope we get on this project sooner than later.

In another interview from November 2011, it would again seem DJ was working with Axl to choose what would go on the new album, and that he was working on new music alone:

I've been writing around the clock and Axl has loads of stuff that he's already recorded. We're going through tons of material. And we're asking ourselves, what songs would make the best Guns N' Roses record?

I'm writing around the clock, obviously. Axl has tons of songs up his sleeve. The main goal is to regroup, put our heads together and figure out what Axl would feel would be the next best Guns N' Roses record to put out.

[Recording a new album is] our main focus. I’m obviously a writer — I write and demo around the clock. So I have quite a few songs already written and Axl has a bunch of stuff obviously recorded, so it’s just kind of getting together as a band and putting together what we feel would be the ultimate Guns N’ Roses record for the next release.

And when asked if it will take another 10 years before it is released:

(Laughs) No. Everybody asks that. If we wait, we'll all be too old to tour.

Dizzy would suggest that at some level they were working on new songs:

We're always bouncing around good song ideas. I think it could come together into something great.

But that a new record wasn't imminent:

We haven't really talked a lot about that. There's a lot we've recorded, a lot of material back when we started working on 'Chinese Democracy,' so there's a quite a bit of unreleased stuff that would be really cool to finish and put out. [...] [And] everyone has great ideas and songs and stuff, so we're always sort of bouncing stuff off each other. I'm recording stuff all the time; I'll record something and say, 'Hey, this might be cool' and play it for everybody and just kind of go from there. I think eventually something's got to give, and then it's gonna come out.

"I just stay out of that, there's not really anything [he can do on his end to push the process forward].

In early November, DJ would again talk about a new record:

There’s been a lot of talk about (it). Of course, me being a songwriter/producer, I’m constantly writing around the clock, so I have tons and tons of new stuff, and I know Axl has a lot of new stuff up his sleeve, just a shitload of songs that no one’s ever heard yet, which is really cool.

I think it’s just a matter of all of us deciding what’s going to be the next move.

And as for whether it would take another 15 years:

No [laughs]. That’s probably the most-asked question.


In late November, Tommy would say there were plans to make new music in 2012:

I’ve been hearing about us going into “writing mode’’ after this run, so if that’s the case, I look forward to it.

There’s nothing etched in stone, but I can see us go into a writing mode in the new year. If there’s gonna be a new record, we’re going to have to start working some stuff out. But it’s just talk right now.

There's talk of doing some recording in the new year, getting some songs together. But that's just talk. Let's get through the tour and see where things end up.

If so, this could mean Axl had decided to focus on new material for the next record, and not continue with the remaining material from the Chinese Democracy sessions.


Interestingly, in his two interviews in November and December, 2011, Axl provided some insight into a potential barrier to the next album: his label, although he provided no details:

It's a combo of different things and it's trying to figure that out, we're working with new management and, you know, we'll be figuring out what we're doing with the label and, you know, kind of feeling things out in the US as we're going across the country.

Once I get the next things sorted out with the label, then I feel I can get to that creative place that I've been fighting to get to, and to use Guns N' Roses to do so.

We're gonna be busy — we're gonna be busy all next year. We'll be putting out new stuff as soon as we can figure out what our deal is with labels, blah blah blah.

Axl would also be asked if he felt any responsibility for the state of limbo he was in:

You can say it's my fault, but to me it's like if you're on a plane and somebody trips you and the air marshal arrests you for falling — like it's my fault for allowing somebody to trip me?
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