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

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

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

30. MARCH-DECEMBER 2010 - TOURING EUROPE AND REUNITING WITH DUFF

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



Last edited by Soulmonster on Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:21 pm; edited 8 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:46 am

TOUR RUMORS


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

SOCIAL MEDIA


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

DJ'S BUSINESS VENTURES


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.

__________________________________


ASHBA MEDIA


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.


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].


2011: ASHBA SWAG, CLOTHES INSPIRED BY DJ


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 ashbaswag.com. 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.



ASHBALAND STUDIOS


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

APRIL-MAY 2010
DJ JUST FILLING IN WHILE WAITING FOR SIXX:A.M. TO START UP AGAIN?


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 . . .
htgth.com, May 4, 2010
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:49 am

MAY 17, 2010-JUNE 2011
AXL COUNTER-SUES AZOFF


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].


JUNE 2011: THE PARTIES REACH A SETTLEMENT


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

MAY 31-JUNE 14, 2010
THE FIRST EUROPEAN LEG OF THE CHINESE DEMOCRACY WORLD TOUR 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 coffee...wtf????)
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



Axl
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.



Axl
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


Axl
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

PRESERVING THE VOICE


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

JULY 27, 2010
STEVEN RELEASES 'MY APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION: SEX, AND DRUGS, AND GUNS N' ROSES'


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



PROSTITUTION RUMOURS AND BEING ABUSED


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 [Snakepit.org, 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



2005: THE BOOK IS GETTING DONE


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.



LAWRENCE J. SPAGNOLA


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.


JULY 27, 2010: THE BOOK IS FINALLY RELEASED


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.



"PEOPLE LOVE TRAIN WRECKS"


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.



THERAPEUTIC


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.



REACTIONS TO THE BOOK


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.



2011-2017: BROOKE ELLIS SPEAKS OUT


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 suicidegirls.com 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



2012: SWEET CHILD OF MINE: HOW I LOST MY SON TO GUNS N' ROSES


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 August 2012.


LOOKING BACK AT THE BOOK


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!


Last edited by Soulmonster on Fri Nov 26, 2021 8:50 am; edited 8 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:51 am

AUGUST 13, 2010
THE BAND PLAYS AT THE ROCK N' REV FEST IN STURGIS


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.



A LATE START, THROWING CANS, AND BUMBLEFOOT LOSES IT


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

BUMBLEFOOT IS UNCOMFORTABLE IN GUNS N' ROSES


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 2012, Bumblefoot would start playing the song in his solo spot.

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
AXL'S TWITTER IS HACKED - ANNOUNCES CANCELLATION OF TOUR


On August 15, 2020, 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 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
THE SHOW IS CUT SHORT AT READING FESTIVAL


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.

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
ANOTHER SHORT SET AT THE LEEDS FESTIVAL


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!!

Peace!!

Axl-
Axl's Twitter, August 31, 2010


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

SEPTEMBER 1, 2010
THE BAND BARELY MAKES IT THROUGH THE SHOW IN DUBLIN


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

AFTER DUBLIN, TOMMY CONSIDERS QUITTING THE BAND?


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

2010-2011
VELVET REVOLVER, PART VI


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.



2010-: "LIVE IN HOUSTON"


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."



2010-: LOOKING FOR A NEW SINGER


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.



LOOKING BACK AT WEILAND


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]



STATE OF THE NEXT RECORD


[...] 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.



FEBRUARY 2011: COREY TAYLOR IS NAMED


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.

[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.


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



THE BAND GOES ON HIATUS


Later in March it seemed the band was reconciled to not resurrect the band:

There is no status. I was just in the U.K., so I'm painfully aware of Corey Taylor - I was asked about one thousand times about it [Slipknot's singer was recently rumored to have tried out]. There is no status - Slash has been on tour, I'm starting a tour. We played with some really good guys, and I do think Corey Taylor is probably the brightest dude that has been in front of a mic for a long time. But saying all that, no, there is no Velvet Revolver singer.

There was a sort-of search going on. [...] I wouldn’t say that [it is defunct]. You never know what’s going to happen. Slash has been on tour and I’m about to start touring. Let’s just say this: for the next five months, I highly doubt that anything will happen, but I could be wrong.


Duff would also mention that they had recorded with Taylor but again state the band was on hiatus while Slash and himself were busy with other projects:

We recorded a bunch of songs with Corey. I think he's fucking great. Whether he's in Velvet Revolver or not…'cause I'm at a point where I can see things with a bigger view, you know, it's not all about me… I think he's the best voice of a new generation. The best rock 'n' voice out there. He's got a lot of positive energy. I'd be proud to do anything with him.

But the truth is…I can't see Velvet Revolver happening till fall, maybe. Slash is touring, I'm just starting to tour… We'll just see. Joe, I just don't have an answer. I don't.


In April, Slash would suggest the band was on hiatus for a couple of years as he continued to focus on his solo career because he had "to move on":

What happens is with Velvet Revolver, when we parted ways with Scott Weiland, I was so frustrated because Scott was such a pain in the ass. And I thought, 'I just wanna have some quiet time and just write some music,' and then the idea of doing the solo record came up. And in the meantime, no new singers for Velvet Revolver, that were really good enough for Velvet Revolver, popped up. So I just started working on the solo record, and put it out and went on the road. But the whole time [I was] very conscious of [trying to find someone] who was going to sing for Velvet Revolver — but no one's turned up. So in the meantime I just keep doing what it is that I do and I've got a great bunch of guys that I work with, I enjoy working with them. I'm having a lot of fun; there's no unnecessary hassles or anything, and everybody's good players. And now we're writing music for [the] next record, which is gonna be killer. So, you know, with Velvet Revolver, it's like Duff's got his own thing, I've got my thing, Matt's got his thing. If a great singer comes and says, 'I wanna sing for Velvet Revolver,' and we all go, 'Yeah,' we'll make a Velvet record. But I can do my own thing — I don't have to go back and do that — unless it's good enough to do it, you know what I mean?!

Next year I definitely will make another Slash record with Myles Kennedy and go on tour. So at least for the next couple of years, nothing is going to be happening with Velvet Revolver that I can see 'cause I'll be focused on this. And after that's over, if something happens… I'm just not really concerning myself with it right now. We had all these different guys try out, all really good singers, but nobody has fit the thing, so, you know, I have to move on.


Duff seemed to echo Slash's statements that the band was indefinitely put aside:

I don’t know. Quite honestly, I don’t know. There is no status. The status is no status. Still, we’ve played with some really good singers.

Yeah, don’t know if I really want to get into that… but I’ll tell you this, Velvet is supposed to happen. It will happen when it’s supposed to happen. You know Slash is out touring right now doing his thing, so maybe we’ll reconvene next September and see what we want to do. [...]I mean it was a great band, and Slash and I, we have that chemistry thing… and it’s just this powerful thing that you don’t get all the time.


And when asked why it was so hard to find a singer, Duff would indicate Slash was more happy pursuing his solo career:

I don’t know how much I want to say about that. I think Slash is very happy doing his solo thing, and why not. I think if Velvet Revolver is going to happen again it will happen when it’s supposed to happen. We played with some good singers and Scott Weiland is tough guy to replace.


Being asked if there will ever be a third record from Velvet Revolver:

Well, in a perfect world there would be that record that’s just fuckin’ raw and brutal. But we’d have to have a singer and it would have to like it was in 2003 and 2004 when it just seemed right and things appeared in front of us. We can’t force it so I don’t know. To be honest with you, I don’t know.


Update from May:

We went kind of gangbusters the first few months after Scott [Weiland]. We kind of realized when and if this is going to happen, it'll happen. We can't force some guy into that spot. Slash started making this record. Loaded made that "Sick" record, I toured and then Slash is still out touring. I talked to Slash and he said, "I'm going to make another record, dude." We'll get to that when we get to that.


And July:

Slash has been on tour almost two years now [but] it's not the reason [Velvet Revolver is inactive]. I think the reason is that is hasn't fallen into place yet. After [we parted ways with singer] Scott Weiland [in 2008] We had such a great first record, especially. The second album is still a good album, but It's hard to replace Scott for that particular band, I think. It's a bit of a gray area.

Velvet Revolver, we really felt that we were Especially Slash, Duff and myself, we were the three main guys that started Velvet. 'Cause Scott came in much later. So to replace Scott, we felt, could be possible. And we tried a couple of guys and it didn't work out. [But] I don't wanna say it's over. It's just on a hiatus. We'll make music again together at some point.



A REUNION WITH WEILAND?


In July, Weiland would talk with fondness about his time in Velvet Revolver and suggest they could be reuniting:

That was a magical thing, too. That was right when I was getting off dope and those guys were all sober and clean, and I had a very special kind of kinship because we'd all experienced the same things. [...] It felt like us against the world: 'We're gonna play just pure rock 'n' roll.' And I think we did a really good job of it. It was a great band to see live, and I think we made two exciting albums. [...] We patched things up and we get along. I see them every now and again, we text each other. [...] And you know, we can never say never. Who knows, maybe we'll do some shows some time.
Ultimate Classic Rock, July 28, 2011


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30. MARCH-DECEMBER 2010 - TOURING EUROPE AND REUNITING WITH DUFF Empty Re: 30. MARCH-DECEMBER 2010 - TOURING EUROPE AND REUNITING WITH DUFF

Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:56 am

SEPTEMBER 5-14, 2010
THE EUROPEAN TOUR CONTINUES


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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30. MARCH-DECEMBER 2010 - TOURING EUROPE AND REUNITING WITH DUFF Empty Re: 30. MARCH-DECEMBER 2010 - TOURING EUROPE AND REUNITING WITH DUFF

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

ALAN NIVEN REFLECTS ON GUNS N' ROSES


Alan Niven would naturally be asked about Guns N' Roses on numerous occasions after he had been fired from the band.

His bitterness and antipathy towards Axl would frequently shine through as 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 he 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.


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.


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

SEPTEMBER 16-OCTOBER 13, 2010
THE EUROPEAN TOUR CONTINUES


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. After that 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), then 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
DUFF AND AXL RECONNECT IN LONDON


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.


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.


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
DUFF PLAYS WITH THE BAND AT THE 02 IN LONDON


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 1994, 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.


He 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.




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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30. MARCH-DECEMBER 2010 - TOURING EUROPE AND REUNITING WITH DUFF Empty Re: 30. MARCH-DECEMBER 2010 - TOURING EUROPE AND REUNITING WITH DUFF

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

OCTOBER 17-29, 2010
ENDING THE EUROPEAN TOUR


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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56ZvllbJBnU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIl76Aok0oU

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

2010-2011
AXL AND SLASH; REUNION RUMOURS


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

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:

Kentsterling.com 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, "Honey...it'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.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:59 am

NOVEMBER 23, 2010
AXL SUES ACTIVITION OVER 'GUITAR HERO III'


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

2010-
HOW THE BAND WAS RUN


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.


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.


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.



A PROPER BAND?


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…


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

DECEMBER 1-16, 2010
SHOWS IN AUSTRALIA AND THE UAE


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.


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).



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.


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,

Axl


Last edited by Soulmonster on Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:40 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 20, 2021 8:00 am

DECEMBER 7, 2010
AXL IS VOTED BEST LEAD SINGER OF ALL TIME BY MUSICRADAR'S READERS


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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30. MARCH-DECEMBER 2010 - TOURING EUROPE AND REUNITING WITH DUFF Empty Re: 30. MARCH-DECEMBER 2010 - TOURING EUROPE AND REUNITING WITH DUFF

Post by Soulmonster Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:19 pm

2010-2011
WORKING ON NEW MUSIC?


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.
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