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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

36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:35 pm

CHAPTER INDEX

- JANUARY 3, 2016: DAVE KUSHNER TO BE PART OF THE NEW LINEUP?
- JANUARY 4, 2016: IT IS CONFIRMED: GN'R TO HEADLINE COACHELLA AND SLASH AND DUFF TO REJOIN THE BAND
- WHY THE REUNION, AND WHY NOW?
- REACTIONS TO SLASH AND DUFF REJOINING GUNS N' ROSES
- JANUARY 2016: SLASH IS RECORDING FOR GUNS N' ROSES?
- JANUARY 7, 2016: CHRIS, FRANK, RICHARD AND DIZZY ARE CONFIRMED TO STILL BE IN THE BAND
- STEVEN REHEARSES WITH THE BAND BUT GETS INJURED...AND WHAT ABOUT IZZY?
- JANUARY 2016: CHRIS IS OUT OF THE BAND
- 2016-TODAY: CHRIS AFTER GUNS N' ROSES
- WHO REUNITED GUNS N' ROSES?
- JANUARY-MARCH, 2016: THE 'NOT IN THIS LIFETIME TOUR' IS PLANNED
- JANUARY 21, 2016: A GUNS N' ROSES-THEMED SLOT MACHINE IS RELEASED
- MARCH 2016: AXL TO JOIN AC/DC FOR TOURING IN 2016
- MARCH 2016: MELISSA REESE JOINS GUNS N' ROSES
- MELISSA BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES
- APRIL 1, 2016: THE NEW LINEUP PLAYS THEIR FIRST SHOW
- AXL HAS SURGERY AFTER BREAKING A BONE IN HIS FOOT AT THE TROUBADOUR
- APRIL 8 AND 9, 2016: THE BAND PLAYS TWO SHOWS AT T-MOBILE ARENA IN LAS VEGAS
- APRIL 2016: MATT CONFIRMS HE IS NOT PART OF THE LINEUP
- APRIL 16, 2016: IT IS OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED: AXL JOINS AC/DC
- REACTIONS TO AXL JOINING AC/DC
- APRIL 16, 2016: HEADLINING AT COACHELLA, FIRST NIGHT
- APRIL 19 AND 20, 2016: TWO SHOWS AT FORO SOL IN MEXICO
- APRIL 23, 2016: HEADLINING AT COACHELLA, SECOND NIGHT
- APRIL-JUNE, 2016: MORE SHOWS AND OPENERS ARE ADDED TO THE 'NITL' TOUR
- APRIL 2016: DUFF'S SIDE PROJECT LEVEE WALKERS
- MAY 2016: AXL TALKS ABOUT THE UPCOMING SHOWS WITH AC/DC
- MAY 7-JUNE 15, 2016: AXL TOURS WITH AC/DC IN EUROPE
- OTHER MUSICIANS' REACTIONS TO AXL'S PERFORMANCES WITH AC/DC
- RICHARD AND SLASH TALK ABOUT ARRANGING THE GUITAR PARTS


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:37 pm

JANUARY 3, 2016
DAVE KUSHNER TO BE PART OF THE NEW GUNS N' ROSES LINEUP?


In late December, Dave Kushner from Velvet Revolver was asked how many reunion shows with GN'R he would play, stating "Maybe ALL of them" and "...or maybe none! One can only hope" [Twitter, December 30, 2015].

In early January, journalist Mitch Lafon followed up by posting a lineup that included Kushner and basically made the band into a hybrid of Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver:

Chris Pittman, Richard Fortus, Dave Kushner, Slash, Axl Rose, Duff McKagan, Dizzy Reed, Frank Ferrer


Ultimately, this rumor would turn out to be false.

Lafon would be asked about this post on the podcast Appetite for Distortion in 2018 and explain that he had it from a trusted source but that, like with many things, it hadn't worked out for unknown reasons:

And let me explain, you know, when the wheel start moving on reunions or on farewell tours or on a new album or any kind of rock news there are million parts that come into play and the news that comes in or the rumors you hear or the the things that you hear, are very fluid and some of them are very true at the moment and then as things develop they change. And so when I heard that Dave was going to be invited it was from a very trusted source. It wasn't the Internet or Wikipedia or some nonsense. And so there was a suggestion that he was going to be invited and, you know, sometimes... and I'll give you an example, a very concrete example, in 2014 Def Leppard went on tour with Kiss and it was announced that Night Ranger was going to be on the bill. And Night Ranger was on the bill, if you spoke to anybody [?], they were on the bill, they were part of the same management team as Kiss at the time and what happened is the money wasn't there and the band decided, "You know what? Instead of opening for this tour and losing money we're gonna go play the summer festivals and the backyard barbecues and all that as headliners. Sure, we're not going to be playing in front of 25,000 people every night but financially it's going to make more sense." So you could go back and say, "Well, whoever said that Night Ranger was opening for Kiss? It's fake news," but it's not and that's what happens all the time. So I don't know what happened with Kushner, maybe his name came up in a conversation during a meeting and whoever, you know, told me, heard that and said, "Hey, by the way." Who knows what the moving parts are but it certainly wasn't deliberately misleading, it certainly wasn't deliberately fake, because there's no advantage for me to do that. Here's the thing, when you do this, the rock journalism thing, or any journalism, it's all about credibility and if nine times out of ten the stuff I post is false, misleading, purposefully misleading, or just a blatant lie, at some point people would just go, "Why am I following this guy? He's a," you know? So I'm very careful about that and, yeah, once in a while, like the Night Ranger in 2014, things change and it doesn't change because of it's a lie, it changes because there are realities in the business, there is contracts, sometimes contracts don't work. Now as far as that, as far as the Dave thing goes, I don't know what happened, why it didn't work out, but I do know that a trusted source mentioned it to me and it made sense and if the trusted source had some misinformation or if the trust... but none of it was a deliberate attempt to mislead anybody because it really... and when your questioner on Twitter said, "Is it just to get followers?" no, it actually has an adverse effect if it turns out to be untrue because, "Oh, I can't trust him," and so I wouldn't purposefully try to harm my credibility, it makes no sense. And so, no, it wasn't fake news, it was what was the hot news at the time [?] and if you go back in my Twitter history, I tweeted that out with Dave Kushner tagged on it, look back and see his answer. [...] He didn't say, "No, Mitch, you're lying." Go look at his answer and look at the wink that it [...].


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:38 pm

JANUARY 4, 2016
IT IS CONFIRMED: GN'R TO HEADLINE COACHELLA AND SLASH AND DUFF TO REJOIN THE BAND


Yeah. We’d be back in no time [if we needed the money], I tell you!’ [laughter]. Pete Townshend is great... I heard him talking on TV one night and he said, “Yeah, we’ll probably reform, we need the money.” I thought that was pretty funny.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from June 1988

Well, I mean, it was definitely not something that, you know, had I been a betting man that, you know, it was definitely not something that I foresaw, you know, coming. I was probably probably the most sort of, you know, negative about anything ever happening with Guns N' Roses. Just because, a lot of pent up negative feelings and animosity that had developed and so on and so forth.

_____________________________________________

Then finally on January 4, the first confirmation of a Guns N' Roses show in 2016 was confirmed by Coachella Music and Arts Festival [Blabbermouth, January 4, 2016]. GN'R was to play two shows, on April 16 and April 23 [Blabbermouth, January 4, 2016].

The announcement would be re-tweeted by Slash and Duff, further cementing the rumour that they would be part of the new lineup.



Slash sharing the news about GN'R playing at Coachella
January 5, 2016



Guns N' Roses followed up the very next day with a press release that also confirmed Slash and Duff was to rejoin the band:

January 5, 2016 – Upholding a three-decade tradition of breaking ground, creating trends, and forever changing the face of rock ‘n’ roll, Guns N’ Roses announce the most significant and anxiously awaited musical event of this century. Founder Axl Rose and former members Slash and Duff McKagan will regroup to headline the Coachella Music & Arts Festival (April 15-17 & April 22-24)—as announced last night!

For months, critics and audiences alike have generated immense excitement and speculation over the possible regrouping of the iconic line-up. The April performances will mark the first time since 1993 the Gunners will share the stage for what is certain to be an explosive event. For more information please visit www.gunsnroses.com.


The press release contained no information of the rest of the lineup nor about the expected tour.

With the first show confirmation, radio host Eddie Trunk would summarize the situation:

Well after months of speculation we now have confirmation of a Guns n’ Roses “reunion” of sorts. In one of the worst kept secrets ever it was finally made official the band will headline Coachella in CA in April. Strong rumors suggest there will be a couple warm up dates and then more extensive touring after Coachella if it goes well and the offers are what they expect. But things are far from cut and dry here because there is no confirmation yet on who actually will be in this version of GnR besides Axl, Slash and Duff. Now for many that’s all they need. But for just as many they are hoping for the original 5 still at some point in the show. Since all official releases have only listed Axl, Slash and Duff it’s clear this is really going to be a mix of old and new Guns it would seem. But the reunion aspect and the entire billing is all about the 3 members in the press releases, which also included individual photos of each guy.

My take is that they don’t quite have this all figured out just yet. They had to announce Coachella because it’s a festival with many other bands (very little of interest to hard rock/Guns fans), it was leaking out everywhere, and tickets are going on sale. But I would hope for and expect a press conference and more details, dates, and band members to be released as they get closer and sort through everything. My sources have told me current GnR drummer Frank Ferrer will be retained and play the bulk of the show, with perhaps a guest appearance from Steven Adler if a deal can be worked out. I would suspect the same with Richard Fortus staying, and maybe Izzy popping up. I would also expect Dizzy and Chris Pittman to stay. I have heard the Dave Kushner rumor but don’t know anything about that and don’t see the connection, but anything is possible. Axl always liked 3 guitars in the later era Guns so who knows? So what this really looks like now is the remaining current Guns lineup (except Stinson, can’t have two bass players I guess), with Duff and Slash being plugged in, and maybe guest spots from Izzy and Steven. Is this enough to make long time fans dying for a reunion content? For most yes. For some no. But it will do huge business regardless of the percentage that was holding out hope for an Appetite reunion 100%. That was never going to happen anyway since Guns only really made one album with that band. I have also been told consistently by many that Matt Sorum is not involved. Read into that what you will. Have not heard Gilby’s name attached either at this point.

I think that all of this is subject to change, but I feel this is where things are at now based on the people I have spoken to. The band members themselves have yet to talk since this went down. Axl cancelled tonight’s appearance on Kimmel. Likely because there are still questions to be answered and it was too early to answer them. I’m hoping that there is a proper press conference at some point with all the key players taking questions (I am offering to host it! haha) and laying out the plan. But with the Coachella deadline looming they had to get it out and this is where we are now. When I know more and there is more news I will post. I am happy that at least the mystery around this is put to rest and Axl and Slash have made the peace enough to reconnect and work together. For how long and how extensively time will tell. But no matter how you feel about where this is at, if you are a rock fan you have to be happy. Because this is good for rock music. To put it in the spotlight and have people talking and focused on rock is always a good thing in my book. And judging by most of what’s listed on the Coachella bill (again, never a hard rock event), Guns, if they are in good form, should annihilate everyone with real ROCK music! And that’s always a good thing!! We need these mega bands to keep our music at the top of these massive festival bills and in the conversation.


In 2018, Ken Fermaglich, rock agent at United Talent Agency, would discuss the decision to play at Coachella:

That was a very strategic first look, it’s something we thought about and talked about a bunch. We felt very strongly [it] could be an amazing launchpad for the band, and sort of a statement saying “We’re not just what you thought we were in the ’90s, but we can still be very relevant in this decade.” Clearly, it was impactful from that perspective, to be a part of that festival, to headline that festival, to be a part of the culture of Southern California – don’t forget the band is from there.


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:38 pm

WHY THE REUNION, AND WHY NOW?

WHY DID THE REUNION HAPPEN?

Axl would say that a reunion had never been out of the cards and imply he had worked for it for some time:

I have been working to get where things are. This isn't- the Guns N' Roses reunion isn't by happen chance or whatever… it was always looked at as a possibility but it just never seemed right or felt right.


Whether Axl here suggests he had worked for a reunion since March 2015 when he called Slash [see previous chapter], or earlier, is not clear.

In July, Tommy was asked if him being replaced with Duff in 2014 had "opened then door" to a reunion:

You know, I'll cosign that notion. Well, they can just thank me for that. Everyone thank Tommy Stinson for this reunion. What a load of crap, but yeah, I'll go with it. [...] I called [Slash] up myself. No, no, I did not. I'm kidding, I'm kidding.


Richard would be asked if Axl had been motivated by money:

And is [money] the motivating factor for [Axl]? Absolutely not. It's not. I've never seen that guy motivated by money as long as I've known him. And otherwise this reunion would have happened a long time ago.


When the interviewer mentioned that Slash was going through an ugly, and expensive, divorce, Richard would instead focus on the band being down one guitarist and one bassist:

I don't know. Honestly, I don't think [money] was a motivating factor for anybody other than the stars just seem to align, that we didn't have a bass player, we didn't have a guitar player. That's how it sort of happened.

It sort of creeped up. You know, and it sort of all happened very organically. We didn't have a bass player. Tommy had left to go do the Mats stuff, and we didn't have another guitar player. And I said, "Well, we know a couple of guys," and it just sort of happened in that way. And Duff and I knew each other.


Tommy would also focus on how the previous lineup had disintegrated which opened up for a reunion:

I think that due to some of the things that happened towards the end when I was in the band…from my part in it, I wasn’t able to tour for a while because of my family situation at home was very unstable. I had to take care of some shit. So I had basically had to turn down I think it might have been as many as 5 different tours that they wanted to do. And this that and the other thing, I just couldn’t do it. And then DJ (Ashba) quit…when DJ made it official he was “quitting Guns N’ Roses” or whatever. I think that was pretty, “Okay, well, guess we’ll move on from this chapter and get back with the old guys.” I mean, seems to me there might have been some other weird stuff going on in there that I wasn’t party to, but I’m glad they did it.



AND WHY NOW?

One question many raised was why did the semi-reunion happen at this specific time? Alan Niven certainly pondered this question:

There is definitely a ‘Why now?’ factor to this. Why not next year, when it is the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Appetite? That’s the first question I’d ask. And there would be plenty of promoters asking that too.

I wish I could tell you that it is incontrovertible that Ax called Iz and said "I have a handful of songs that we have to record and perform. I have some observations about the world I wanna get out there. I have titles like Demagogue. Illuminated. Armageddon. My Better Life. Think of it as Masonic Democracy. Lets get them done and, fuck it, lets get the old crew back together to take them on the road. Lets put that to bed at the same time. Unfortunately, all things considered, I can only assume that its only for the money. How else to explain the lack of statements about creativity, or even who the band is? “How else to explain a ticket price of $1250 for row H.


One possibly explanation is that it would have happened sooner if it had been possible, but it took time to thaw the frozen relationship between Slash and Axl sufficiently. A slow process, that included coming to an agreement on releasing co-written material (summer of 2014), Duff bridging the gap (2014), the current GN'R lineup unravelling (second half of 2014), Perla being out of the question (December 2014), Slash being friendly to Axl (February 2015) and finally a call from Axl (March 2015) where the two men were able to bury grudges and put the past behind them, was needed before the two of them were willing to take the chance on reuniting.

Tom Zutaut would speculate that the lure of headlining at Coachella had been a major reason:

I can only speculate. You’d have to look at [promoters] Goldenvoice and AEG, sitting there with a festival that last year generated eighty million dollars in profits. When you have that kind of money to spend and your festival sells out regardless of whether you have Guns N’ Roses or not… given that those guys in GN’R might be looking back at filling out stadiums and selling out multiple nights in arenas, versus where their solo careers have taken them.

Axl Rose has never done anything for money in his life. Nor has Slash or Duff. But when the entire music world is clamouring to see you, the rush of that experience is hard to resist, especially when AEG is waving all those large wads of money at you. Coachella is considered one of the biggest and most influential festivals in the world… Suddenly it might have felt right for all of them to test the waters.


In 2018, Duff would be asked if things had been brewing for a while before the announcement of Slash and Duff rejoining the band in 2016:

That's an interesting question. I think, you know, as far as things brewing, it's just a matter of some guys with a past kind of figuring some stuff out and take them one step at a time. And just like anything, like sobriety or anything, you know, your life like, I guess I have enough years behind me now to go... life is more mysterious to me because you genuinely don't know what's going to happen next. I'm 54, at my age, or at 45, people say, "Well, this is what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna do this. And then at 60, I'm gonna do that." You really have no idea what's gonna happen. And I think the Guns thing was sort of in that category. And it was pretty righteous just the way it came together. It was all good, positive feelings and, you know, I mean, good, positive solution based life stuff melts perfectly in with the way I like to roll. And that's how this thing came together.


And discuss how he had had to take responsibility for the disintegration of the Use Your Illusion lineup:

The way you think about it is, and you've thought about it through all your drinking and all your stuff, maybe that's not the way exactly it went down. And it wasn't until I wrote my book, the first book, It's So Easy, that I was alone in rooms writing this thing, on planes writing this thing. And I would write a full like 2,000 word passage. [...] I would write in those kinds of spurts because I was writing columns at the time too. I'd write a 2,000 word, you know, passage and I'd realize you just lied. The only person you're lying to is yourself and your computer, you know? [...] This is the way I wanna believe it went down and I would have to erase and press delete on the whole thing. And those are the moments I really started to, it was like 2007, 2008, 2009, I really started to rethink my part in my life and with that came a lot of aha moments. And I ran into Axl in London in 2010. Just our rooms were right next to each other. [...] And so, you know, and that's the point in my life, I'm like, you know, things happen as they're supposed to happen. And there's energy and there's things. And that was supposed to happen. I went down to the gig with him that night and got up on stage and played. And it was really cool. We went to dinner the next night. And, you know, Slash and I have always been cool. And I think Axl and I have always been cool. It's just, you know, things happen in life and there was separation. Things happen for a reason there too. And that's coming back together now, it seems to be perfect time for us as dudes, I think for rock and roll in general. My kids are grown.


For more about Duff taking responsibility for what happened to the Use Your Illusion lineup, see previous chapter.


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:40 pm

REACTIONS TO SLASH AND DUFF REJOINING GUNS N' ROSES

TOMMY

Tommy had always expressed a support for a proper reunion of Guns N' Roses:

If there was a lot of money on the table for the original GN'R to get back together I would totally back it. Axl has been nothing but good for me and good to me. If that was what he wanted to do and needed to do then I would totally back him.

Having said that I can't see it happening.

If you asked me if it would happen I would have said, “Definitely wouldn’t be happening.”

I kind of was, but not really, given the nature of what was going on. You know, like anyone, Axl has to work too, and they've all got their stuff — everyone's got their stuff that they do. But, when it comes right down to it, the dude can't just afford to sit around on his butt and do nothing. So he did the right thing — I think he totally did the right thing [...]. I'm in contact with them every now and then. I shoot them texts, like, 'How're you guys doing out there? What's going on?' It's because I left it in the best way I possibly could, and I'm happy for 'em. You know, I've got a lot of friends in that group.

I'm really stoked that like you know Axl and Slash and then that back together was a very big deal. Even to know those guys or to know Axl for as long as I have, it makes me happy that, you know, they have put their stuff aside and they're fucking out there doing that thing again. [...] like I said, it was great gig for me for the 17 years it lasted, but I'm really happy that they're out there doing that thing. It was a big, big deal for anyone that knows those cats, them getting back together, it's, you know, "not in this lifetime," you know, it's well beyond that, that they actually got it together and went out there and are still, you know, out there playing together again, and that's great. It's a great rock and roll story to me.



DJ

As a fan myself I couldn't be more stoked for the fan base. They've waited a long time for this to happen. It's so good that it's happening. I couldn't be happier for the fans. It was one of those thing they were told would never happen.

I couldn’t be more happy for it happening. I was stoked to find out about it, people have got to remember, If I wasn’t a fan of the band, I wouldn’t have joined the band. I have great admiration for Axl, Slash and Duff and, Steven, Izzy and everybodys put into that thing. I have even more respect now after playing in the band for so many years. I couldn’t be more happy, I’m just a biggest fan as I’ve always been, I’m so happy for the fans that they get to go out there and see at least half of the band reunited, its a big deal. This is what the fans have been wanting, me included in that. I just didnt feel like it was my place. If Slash has come back, I couldnt be more happy, this is great. At that point, its best I go do what I’m really good at doing. Its kind of the best of both worlds, I get to have my favorite band back and I get to go play in my favorite band again. Its a win win.



IRVING AZOFF

I think this is a good historical moment that the public deserves to see. I hope it happens.



GILBY

Gilby, as always, was gracious in his comments:

You know, I'm probably just as curious as everybody else is. It's gonna be interesting to see Slash and Axl back together after all these years. I mean, I have certainly seen Slash many times; I've seen his solo band, I've seen Velvet Revolver. So it's gonna be interesting to see, after that big hiatus, what comes together from this. I'm just like a fan; I'm curious too.

First of all, I'm happy that the guys are back together. I think it's really important to music, especially rock and roll music, that Guns N' Roses is a viable band that's out performing right now. I know Axl has been out there with his band playing, but it doesn't get any better than having Slash back in the band. So with Slash and Axl back together, I really think they can have some great shows and hopefully write some good music together and keep the band name and legacy alive. [...] I was a part of the band twenty years ago, and a lot has happened in that amount of time. I don't know… I honestly don't know. People were asking me questions last year: 'Do you think Guns N' Roses are gonna get back together?' And I kept saying, 'No.' I didn't. I honestly didn't. So I'm surprised, just like a lot of people are, that the band's back together. But I think it's a great thing for music.

I think it’s great that Slash and Axl are back together. I think together they can write some great music and finish what they started in putting Guns N’ Roses up there with the best bands ever.


As for whether he would have liked to join the new lineup:

You know, I don't really wanna answer that, because I don't know. I honestly don't know. It's a hypothetical question, it's a hypothetical situation. So I really don't know. I mean, before all this happened, people [would] say, 'Would you be a part of the reunion?' And I always said, 'Absolutely!' Look, I love the music of the band, I love the band and the performance, but this Guns N' Roses isn't the Guns N' Roses that I was a part of, so it's a hard question to ask right now.


But Gilby would also point out that this wasn't a proper reunion:

The reunion that happened is really just Axl, Slash and Duff. Basically, Slash and Duff have joined Axl's band. So I don't know if you can really call it a reunion. So, myself, Matt, Izzy… it didn't happen as a reunion for all of us to join. So I think if the time was right and the situation was right, I think everybody would come back and do it. Look, first of all, everybody gets along great and stuff; it's great music; Guns N' Roses is a great band and has a great legacy. I think everybody just wants to see it done right. And when it's time, we'll do it.



PETER KATSIS

[A Guns N’ Roses reunion is] one of those things the audience was told they would never get.



MYLES KENNEDY

There was always a feeling inside that it was eventually gonna happen, it’s such an incredible band and it was inevitable. When he told me, the first thing I said was, ‘You guys are gonna make a lot of people extremely happy, myself included'.

I [was told about it] about a year ago - Slash told me, we were touring and he brought it up. It's one of those things - I always thought it was inevitable, just a matter of time and the fan in me was jumping in joy. When he said it to me, I told him: 'You're making a lot of people happy with this decision.' [Chuckles] 'Cause we've waited 20+ years for it...[...] Was it hard to contain? No, not really. It was just one of those things where I... I just... yeah, I just shut the fuck up. [Laughs]



SEBASTIAN BACH

I spent a lot of years in the late 2000s opening for Guns N' Roses without Slash — we played Madison Square Garden and the Meadowlands, and lots of tours all around the world — and me and Axl would hang out at night and drink and party and talk. And he would always have stuff to say that he was disgruntled about about Guns N' Roses, but at the end of the night, as I was always leaving, there would always be, like, a 'Never say never.' [Laughs] And I'd go, 'Right on!' So he never cut it off. So I was very surprised when they reunited, but part of me, in a little bit of a way, was expecting it some day, but I wasn't expecting it this quick. But, again, the public demands it. That's the number one tour; I mean, that is the biggest tour.



BRYN BRIDENTHAL

I didn’t think there would be a reunion, but it is big business. And Izzy was always an independent soul. I assume he doesn’t need the grief.



ALICE COOPER

I was pretty sure the Guns N’ Roses reunion was going to happen; first, why wouldn’t it? You can only hold a grudge for so long and when you get older, you see grudges don’t work. I don’t know why Izzy’s not in the band; kinda makes me mad a little bit. But I’m glad they’re out there playing, and killing it every night.



ALAN NIVEN

No Izzy, No GNR.



VICKYHAMILTON

There was so much animosity between Slash and Axl to the point where Axl was throwing people out of Guns N’ Roses shows who were wearing top hats and Slash t-shirts. I never thought it would resolve itself.



BRAIN

You know, I figured it was going to happen. You know, I remember Axl telling me at one point he was going to do that, and he did it. And so, you know, it's pretty crazy, I was like, "Wow!" He wasn't joking.



MERCK MERCURIADIS

The reunion was always a possibility because Axl [Rose] was open-minded to it. All he ever wanted was for Slash to apologise for certain things and while Slash was in a position where he maybe didn’t understand that was what was necessary, then the band were never going to come together. But at some point it was inevitable that they would have that conversation and Slash would be able to have his say, because there were things that he wasn’t happy about. Let me put it to you this way, Axl might call me up and say, ‘I’m unhappy with Slash’. If I had jumped in and went, 'You’re right, he’s a fucker!’ Axl would be the first person to turn around and go, ‘No, no, you can’t say that. I maybe can say that, but you can’t’. So Axl was always protective of Slash and the other guys in Guns N’ Roses, there were just certain things that he wanted to be put right. They obviously figured out how to put them right [...].


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:42 pm

JANUARY 2016
SLASH IS RECORDING FOR GUNS N' ROSES?


Alan Niven had previously stated that if Guns N' Roses was to reunite, it would be pointless from an artistic point of view f it did not include the band making new music:

To go back, to reform, without great new composing, would be a disservice to the legacy of the real Guns n’ Roses. They, the original band, should all be free to do whatever it is they wish to do today and tomorrow. Besides, the music lives, and so they all, Slash included, should be allowed to move on. All things considered, stellar playing comes from stellar writing, and I look forward to the day slash aligns himself once more with great writers, like Izzy and Axl. I’d love to see that.

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.


And in January 2016, it was confirmed that Slash has at least brought his guitar into a recording or rehearsal studio where Frank's guitar kit was also likely rigged.



Slash sharing a picture of one of his guitars
in a studio with possibly Frank's kit
Facebook, January 2016



In February, Arlett Vereecke, Guns N' Roses previous publicist and long-time friend of Slash, would comment on the rumours:

I know they’re doing some recording. They’re definitely doing something there in the studio. Axl hasn’t been there, but Slash is definitely in there and it’s not for anyone else [other than Guns N’ Roses].


And Niven would reiterate that this semi-reunion couldn't just be for the money:

I hope they’ve done it already [begun recording]. Duff and Izzy were in the studio before Christmas doing stuff. At a casual glance I think they’ve got at least a couple of tracks down. There has to be an element of creativity. Guns N’ Roses is about a spirit, about individuality. It can’t just be purely fiscal. It must be about legacy. After all, you don’t see many hearses with luggage racks.


Although the recording with Duff and Izzy Nivel mentions was most likely for Duff's EP How To Be A Man [see previous chapter].

And Zutaut would mention how working together might further heal old wounds:

Maybe being in each other’s presence, playing that great music again, will heal the past and restore those friendships. And I believe that all of them are hoping they’ll be able to move forward and do some new things, other than go out there and play the hits.


Just a few days later, Izzy would shoot down any rumours that he had been writing with the band:

Also, I have been writing but I have not been in the studio writing or recording with any of the GNR guys recently
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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:42 pm

JANUARY 7, 2016
CHRIS, FRANK, RICHARD AND DIZZY ARE CONFIRMED TO STILL BE IN THE BAND

Chris had confirmed to still be part of the band when he updated his Twitter profile to read "GunsNRoses 1998-Present" back in late December 2015 or possible very early January 2016. After the confirmation that the band was to play at Coachella and that Slash and Duff would rejoin the band, Chris again confirmed his status in the band through tweets:

Gonna be a fun time 2016 #coachella #axlrose #GunsNRoses
Twitter, January 7, 2016


Dizzy's wife, Lisa Reed, would confirm Dizzy's status in the band by tweeting that their daughter was thrilled her father would soon play a show at the same date as her favorite band, Halsey [Twitter, January 5, 2016].

And Frank would retweet a post that suggested him and Richard were still in the band [Twitter, January 5, 2016].

In March, further proof of Frank, Dizzy and Richard's involvement came through an autographed drum head that was auctioned off [Blabbermouth, March 14, 2016]:



Drum head with autographs
Twitter, March 14, 2016



By the time this happened, Chris was out of the band [see later chapter].

In January 2017, Dizzy would talk about the strength of the hybrid lineup:

I think what you have now though is you have, you know, a good strong nucleus from the original band with a very strong supporting cast, really. And if you put those two things together and it's a phenomenal rock show without a doubt.


And in 2018, Brain would talk about how good a fit Frank is with Guns N' Roses:

Frank's a great dude. [..] You know, he loves it. You know, it's his thing. He's a rocker and he loves to do it. You know, he stands up and gets the crowd into it


And Doug Goldstein would praise Richard:

And by the way, another one of my favorite people on the planet who doesn't get near the credit that he should is Richard Fortus. I mean, the guy has been with Axl for how long? And he's a great human being, just a fantastic guy. Love Richard. I mean, I never talked to Richard, but he's in St. Louis, and I was in St. Louis, and I'd run into people that knew him, I mean, he could run for mayor in St. Louis and win. I mean, he's so loved.


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:43 pm

STEVEN REHEARSES WITH THE BAND BUT GETS INJURED...AND WHAT ABOUT IZZY?

The holy grail for many Guns N' Roses fans was a proper reunion of the Appetite for Destruction lineup, including Izzy and Steven. Early rumours didn't exclude their participation, but nothing was confirmed.

Tom Zutaut would speculate on the likelihood of a true Appetite reunion:

I do keep hearing rumblings of a Mick Taylor scenario with the Stones, where Mick came out and did a couple of songs. I wouldn’t be surprised if Izzy rolled out Mr Brownstone.

But on the other hand, this is GN’R – I would be just as unsurprised if it didn’t happen. But this is the most volatile band in the world. It might happen on the day of the show – Steven gets himself inside [the backstage inner sanctum] and they invite him for a song. Or ten hours before the show the three of them will say: ‘This isn’t right without the other two.’


And DJ would talk about what he wanted:

I love [the reunion] for the fans. However, I hope they bring in Steven, Izzy and even Matt and Gilby! I've always been a fan of Slash's playing; that was a big reason why I took the gig!



MARCH: STEVEN REHEARSES WITH THE BAND BUT INJURES HIMSELF

Arlett Vereecke, Guns N' Roses' previous publicist and long-time friend of Slash, was skeptical about Steven's involvement in new lineup:

Steven would love to do it. I don’t think they will take him on tour. Him and Axl are not the best combination and never were. It depends what Axl is comfortable with. I know Duff and Slash certainly have no problem with him.


With the scheduled shows approaching and confirmation that Frank would play, it seemed clear that Steven, like Izzy, would not be part of the lineup. But then, on March 16, a planned show with Adler at The Whisky was cancelled with the venue tweeting: "Stay tuned for a big announcement! #GunsNRoses" [Blabbermouth, March 21, 2016], clearly indicating that Steven was intended to have some role in the upcoming GN'R shows.



Update from the Whisky
Twitter, March 16, 2016



And a few days later, KEG Management CEO Keith Neddo would state that Jacob Burton, Adler's singer, had confirmed to him that Steven would join Guns N' Roses [Facebook/Ultimate Guitar, March 28, 2016]. Shortly after, Neddo backtracked and said that Burton had also expressed a hope that GN'R and Steven would work it out and that he would get back in the band [Facebook/Ultimate Guitar, March 28, 2016].

Truth was that Steven did rehearse with the band and was probably intended to guest on at least a few songs when the band had their first shows, but got a back injury already at the second rehearsal [One On One with Mitch Lafon, February 16, 2017].

Well, it was January 2, 2016, and Slash and Duff both texted me and said that they wanted to get together and talk to me. So I went down to Duff’s house and we had a nice little talk. They had me sign some contract thing and whatnot just so they could talk to me, which is cool; I don’t care. Then in March I came down to rehearsal, and the second rehearsal, I got a pinched nerve in my L4 in my lower back. But I was only out for ten days.


When asked if he rehearsed with the full band:

No. Just those two rehearsals before I hurt my back, and that was just with Slash and Duff. Richard wasn’t even there.


In September 2016, Axl would say that Steven had just undergone a back injury around the time they started rehearsing with Duff and Slash:

When this started, Steven had just had back surgery and stuff, so I don't have any idea about that.


Steven would claim he had recovered by April 1 when the band did their first show at the Troubadour, but that the band refused him, causing him to feel resentful:

I'd been playing 'Appetite' live, 'Use Your Illusion' and the songs that, obviously, I didn't get to play on 'Use Your Illusion', I was practicing them… I was playing twenty-five songs twice a day for two years. 'Cause once I found out [the reunion] was probably gonna happen, I was, like, 'Yes! I'm gonna be ready and on top of it.' And then second rehearsal, I hurt my back and I had to have a minor surgery. I had a pinched nerve in the L4 [nerve root], and within an hour, I was out of the hospital and I was all better. And I talked to them [and said], 'Let me come back,' but it didn't happen, and I was resentful. And then I talked to my sponsor and I was, 'Okay, you're right. I'm not gonna give in to resentment.

I was ready to do The Troubadour show [on April 1, 2016]. Like I said, I had been playing twenty-five songs twice a day for almost two years — every day. So I was ready to go. And then the second rehearsal… I came into rehearsal in January, February, March. And the fucking second day, I just stretched… All I did was stretch — I put my arms in the air to stretch — and I go, 'I just did something.' And we played another seven songs, and then my back was really sore. And I came home about eight at night, and then by midnight, I couldn't even stand up. It was just terrible. I was out for two weeks, and then I got the epidural after about a week, and then I had the surgery about two weeks… I was ready when they did The Troubadour show. And Duff called me and said, 'Dude, you're not gonna play with us anymore. You're not gonna do these shows.' And I was, like, 'You're the worst fucking person in the world.' And I hung up on him. And I tried to call him back and left a message, saying, 'I'm so sorry I said that.' When I said that he was the worst person in the world, I didn't mean he was, 'cause I was thinking I was the worst person in the world — that I couldn't even fucking get back with my fucking guys after they gave me this opportunity. But I said it to him. And when you have resentments, you say things that you're feeling. And I was feeling that about me, and I said it about him [...]

By the time they did The Troubadour show, I was ready to go. I called Duff up and I said, ‘Dude, I’m ready to rock. Can I do these shows?’ They had The Troubadour and they had, like, seven other shows. And he said, ‘No, you’re not gonna be part of this.’ I was, like, ‘Fuck you!’ and I hung up on him. And I called him back and I said, ‘I’m sorry. I was just angry at myself. I feel like I ruined it for myself, and I was just saying mean things to you because that’s how I felt about me.’ You know, I [was] trying to move forward.

It was hurtful. I was very bummed, but my back was fine at the time; it was just too many rehearsals. But I wanted to do it, and I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

I was planning on being able to get back together and finish the magic we started and give the fans what they love and they want. I was so hurt they didn’t let me do it.


Steven would also say that it was his understanding that the songs would be split between him and Frank:

My understanding was I was gonna do all the 'Appetite' [material], the 'Lies' and three or four of the 'Use Your Illusion' songs. And then Frank, who's a wonderful, awesome guy, he was gonna do the 'Chinese Democracy' [material] and a couple of the other [songs]… I was gonna start it, he was gonna come in the middle, and I was gonna end it. And I was cool with that.


When Steven did get to play with the band, later in 2016, he would only guest on two songs per show [see later chapters].


WHAT ABOUT IZZY?

Alan Niven was interviewed on January 8, 2016, and suggested that there was still a possibility that Izzy would be part of the reunion, and that without him the band would be "Velvet Roses":

Izzy will sit on the sidelines until he feels like he wants to get his toes in the water. He doesn’t like all the palaver and drama.


On February 19, Arlett Vereecke, would express her belief that Izzy would be involved somehow:

I think Izzy will definitely show up [somewhere on the tour]. He likes to play but he doesn’t like to walk the line. He likes to live his own life. Him and Axl have been good friends and have never really had a problem. He doesn’t have a problem with anyone. He will show up.


Then a few days later, Izzy registered his own Twitter account and posted an update, and also sent out an email with the same message to member Downliner on the Guns N' Roses forum GNREvolution and previous admin of the Izzy fan forum Chopaway:

Izzy Stradlin fact..

At this point in time, I've no involvement in the upcoming April 2016 GNR shows


Izzy would leave a voice mail to Rolling Stone Magazine:

I know there's a lot of questions regarding my Twitter account. But it's me. I opened the Twitter account. There was just so much speculation going on regarding my involvement and studio recording. There’s so much misinformation, so I wanted to clarify that I'm not in the studio recording with any of the Guns N' Roses guys. At this point in time, I'm not involved in the actual shows ... A lot of stuff [fans] are reading isn't true.


A few days later, Niven would comment:

For that matter, without Izzy and Steven can it be called a Guns n Roses re-union? Without them it’s really just Velvet Roses. Why aren't those two included? Maybe there is not enough money to go around - after all, rumour has it that AEG are only paying $26,000,000 for two Coachella shows and two shows in Vegas. I can only guess at Izzy's position based on his Twitter postings ... and knowing him to a certain degree I'd say you'd find his answer in the lyrics of the two songs he posted. What is clear is that he was, originally, amenable. After all, he tried to get Axl to come to the RRHOF event. But if he's not going to be treated with equality and respect he's not going to be involved. Sad really, since he was, to my memory, the most crucial member of the band - the most adept at expressing the band attitude and character in song. No Izzy, no Guns. The obvious solution would have been to have Matt play the UYI material in the initial set, along with a couple of Democracy songs with Frank [if they made the set list], and then save some AFD songs for an encore with the original five together. That way you would let everyone contribute and guarantee two moments of extreme excitement in the night. It’s probably a financial decision.


Peter Katsis, previous manager of GN'R in 2011, would also speculate on why Izzy wasn't included in the lineup:

Axl’s been carrying the torch. It’s a business negotiation between who’s been carrying the business and who’s just coming back.


Slash would later be asked if it had been weird if all the other members of the previous lineup had been removed as Slash and Duff rejoined the band:

That’s sort of a bigger subject considering all of the different things that went on during that period of trying to sort of figure all that out. All things considered, yeah, you’re right. When certain things that we were sort of trying to get sorted out didn’t work, Axl’s band that he had been working with for 15 years, I felt really comfortable with Richard, Frank was great. It wasn’t rocket science to keep all that together, when other stuff we were trying to do didn’t work out. I’m not going to get into all of that though.


The statement "when certain things that we were sort of trying to get sorted out didn't work," likely refers to early discussions on bringing in Izzy and Steven, with Steven not being physically up to it and negotiations with Izzy failing due to not agreeing on financial terms [see later chapters].

Slash would downplay the importance of this by pointing out that the lineup in the 90s weren't the original lineup either:

Even in the 90’s we didn’t have the original lineup, so it wasn’t something we were going: ‘oh my god’ about.


In May 2019, Duff would be asked if they had tried to get the "original five guys" together and confirm but suggest that the physicality of the touring disqualified some (likely Steven):

Sure, but there were just some things where it was just impossible to get [it] to work. It’s not like we didn’t try and with Steven it was great to bring him out where he could and play a couple of songs. This is a long set, like you said, gig shape. You have to train like a pro athlete. Not any different. I’m fifty-five years old, I’ fifty-five and I gotta train like I’m twenty-eight or twenty-five. So, that takes a lot [out of you], you gotta have the mindset, you gotta have the fighters mindset.


Duff would also mention they had been open to having Izzy back, but that he never showed up for rehearsals:

We definitely wanted him to do it, and I think he entertained the thought, but he never came down and rehearsed. We had amps for him, ready to go. The first month of rehearsal went by... Nothing. Second month of rehearsal came by, and we’re talking to him: “We’re getting close, Iz.” Third month of rehearsal went by... Nothing. I guess he just didn’t want to tour this big and for so long. I love that dude, but I gotta say that Richard Fortus is a hell of a player and we couldn't ask for a better guy.


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:44 pm

JANUARY 2016
CHRIS IS OUT OF THE BAND


Axl being asked jokingly by Jimmy Kimmel about "who's gonna be the first to go":

Probably Pitman [laughs].

______________________

Chris had in a series of tweets indicated his participation in the semi-reunited band, but in early January he was asked by band management to not acknowledge his position in the band:

I was just informed by management to not acknowledge anything about Coachella, GN'R, etc. So there, denied! #GamesForDays
Twitter, January 11, 2016

When I said 'we are playing at Coachella' I meant me and my daughter like to play in the sand.
Twitter, January 11, 2016


He also updated his Twitter profile to no longer indicate he was part of the band.

Then, about a month later, Chris joined a conversation on Facebook where he strongly criticizes the upcoming reunion and tour, referring to it as a "money grab":

this is a nostalgia tour, please don't mention those who are there the last 20 fkg years ... oh god no!! ... (a money grab) FU.


Chris also took the time to launch a somewhat vague attack on the main fan forum Mygnforum (or possibly it was directed at the separate site mygnr.com which had listed Chris with a misspelled surname):

I forgot to add, those dildoes at mygnr. com, or whatever the fuk theyre called, they post this as well as my birthday, you would think after 18 fuking years... what misinformed dumbfuks they are!


A few days later, Chris apologized publicly:

I sincerely apologize to GNR,especially the band and crew,for stupid comments about upcoming tour, ..remember kids, dont drink n text!
Twitter, March 4, 2016


Then in April, while talking to a Chilean Guns N' Roses Facebook fan page, Chris again criticized his former band and the ongoing tour:

hey brother! ive been off FB for awhile, and yes, I quit the Oldies band, they just wanna repeat that 30 year old music over and over,... boring.
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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:47 pm

2016-TODAY
CHRIS AFTER GUNS N' ROSES

2016: - TOOL

Immediately after having left Guns N' Roses, Chris was back collaborating with Tool:

Studio nite, tracking, #dannycarey #beatrazr #kentbrisley #toolband
Twitter, March 5, 2016


Or perhaps it was a side project for Carey from Tool?

but gotta killer new band with Danny [Carey] from TOOL and Matthew [Setzer] from Skinny Puppy ... and we are really excited!
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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:47 pm

WHO REUNITED GUNS N' ROSES?

Just like different people had wanted to be credited for making Axl and Slash bury the hatchet [see previous chapter], various people would also claim to be at least partly responsible for having reunited Guns N' Roses.


ANDREW DICE CLAY

In January 2016, comedian Andrew Dice Clay would claim he he worked for months to grease the wheels for a reunion, including urging Slash to say something positive about Axl which, according to Clay, had resulted in Slash wishing Axl a happy birthday in February 2016 [The Interrobang, January 18, 2016]. See previous chapter for more information about this birthday greeting.

He told me a great story about how he helped to get Guns and Roses back together. He said he was performing in Australia and happened to run into Slash in his hotel. And he told Slash that Guns had millions of fans who would love to see them get back together. Then Dice was at The Hard Rock in Vegas and Axl Rose was in another room. Axl found out that Dice was there and had Dice open the show for him, and Dice also told him they should get back together. Dice was there with his wife Valerie and his two sons Max, 25, and Dillon 21. Dice said that after he opened the show Axl played for three hours. Then a few months later Dice ran into Duff McKagan who came to see Dice’s son’s band. They used to be called L.A. Rocks, but changed the name fairly recently Duff felt that Still Rebel was ready to break out. Dice, also mentioned to Duff that he thought Guns should get back together. The final step was telling Tom Mayhew, the road manager who’s been Dice’s friend for like 27 years that they gotta get Slash to Tweet something good about Axl, and he did. I think it was a birthday Tweet for Axl. Anyway it now looks like they’re getting back together again at Coachella and Slash and Axl will be on stage together for the first time since 1993.


Clay would tell the story again to Rolling Stone Magazine:

I was very aggressive in trying to help this band get back together. These are guys that I’m hanging with since, I think, ’89. They came to see me at the Wiltern, and that’s how we all became friends. We’ve always bonded beautifully. I’ve always had pure love for the guys and their music.

My son, Max, who’s the drummer in a band called Still Rebel, would say to me, “Dad, you know you’re the only one that can really put this band together. There’s no agenda. You just love the guys.” Every manager tried. Every attorney tried. Every agent tried. But the reason I got aggressive about it was because last year, when Axl was still working with the new band, he was at the Hard Rock Hotel, and I opened for him for the last show they did. That was a lot of fun.

Then I did an Australian tour. I was in town in Sydney about a half hour and I see Slash having breakfast. We’re out on this big porch at the top of this hotel and I walked over to him and said, “You mind if I smoke?” And the guy looks and he goes, “Hey, Dice!” And I said, “All right, listen. Whatever the problems were 20 years ago, whatever it might have been, we’ve got to put that to rest, because you guys peaked rock & roll. You’re all around and you’re the greatest band.” And he was saying really good stuff about Axl, so that was a good sign to me.

When I came back to L.A., Duff McKagan came to see my son’s band live. He looks at me and goes, “Dice, they’re ready.” As a father, I was just like, “Really?” So he met with my son two days later at a Starbucks with [GN’R road manager] Tom Mayhew to talk about music. And I go to Duff, “All right, we’ve got to make a move, because rock & roll is coming back in a bigger-than-life way. The minute the show Vinyl hits, the rock explosion is gonna start. Then there’s another show, Roadies. All these bands are getting back together. You guys owe it to yourselves, and all these millions of new fans from the last 20 years, to go out there and kick their asses.” Then on Axl’s birthday, Slash tweeted some very nice stuff about Axl, and the rest is becoming history.


To Loudwire he would state that he met Slash in Australia when Slash was there to perform the national anthem at a Sydney football game:

You’re Slash. Do you understand? You’re one of the greatest guitarists in the world. What’s wrong with you? What kind of argument did you guys have, decades ago, that you can’t put this back together? You’re all walking the earth. You peaked rock and roll… and you had a fight? You’re here doing a fucking football game?


Dice then allegedly conspired with Duff to convince Slash to send a complimentary tweet to Ax [Loudwire, June 18, 2019]. And finally, Dice met Axl when GN'R was playing at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas:

You’re playing for 3,000 people. I could do that. They’re not the real band. You need to put this back together.



STEVEN TYLER

I've been working on it for years. [...] [I] just told [Slash] that the world needs more rock and roll and [there is] enough of people arguing, especially when they're as talented and as great. Everybody loves their songs. That's what rock and roll is about.

I'm sure I'm not solely responsible, but I did meet Axl in a couple of clubs a year ago and two years ago and three years ago. I said, 'You need to get fucking back together again soon, because we all miss you.' Same thing someone said to me when Joe [Perry] and I were fighting. 'You've gotta get back together. What are you, crazy?' In fact, it was Jon Bon Jovi. I'm in rehab. He calls me up and goes, 'What the fuck are you in rehab? The world needs you. We're out here ripping it up, and everybody's asking for Aerosmith. You need to get out of here, because people in the world need you.' So I'd say to Axl, 'You've gotta get together. There's a place and time where if you don't, you're gonna miss it.' And in another four or five years, no one's gonna even know who they were or care if they're on tour, and that's Steven Tyler's opinion. And also, I'm the lead singer of another great band, so I have a right to feel that way. I have such a huge ego about keeping the fire and the music together. Because if people come up to me and say, 'Dude, I got laid to your music,' or a woman comes up to me and says, 'We got married to your songs.' You had something to do with the fabric of people. Guns N' Roses had something to do with the fabric of humans on this planet, so I get fucking pissed. [...] The point is they're talking to each other. They got an offer for something, and at least they're going out. I think the world needs to hear their music. End of story. I can only hope that Axl sees that the greater picture is to not be angry at Duff or Slash, for Axl to understand that he's the lead singer in a great band and the world wants to see Axl with the original band. They love him alone too. He's the shit alone. He's fucking great. Axl's great.



THE BAND RESPONDS

As a response, Guns N' Roses would post a sarcastic message on their Twitter:

Guns N' Roses would like to respectfully thank the many people taking credit for our upcoming shows and everything in between. Especially those whom we haven't spoken to in numerous years who, through the power of media, have somehow served a pivotal, even if non-existent, role. We and the fans thank you!


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:48 pm

JANUARY-MARCH, 2016
THE 'NOT IN THIS LIFETIME TOUR' IS PLANNED

Also in January, Guns N' Roses would announce they would play two additional shows before Coachella, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on April 8 and 9 [Facebook/Blabbermouth, January 19, 2016]. Then in February, another four shows were announced, in Mexico in April [Blabbermouth, February 2, 2016; Blabbermouth, February 11, 2016].

Alan Niven and Arlett Vereecke (the band's previous publicist and long-time friend of Slash), would speculate on how the tour would go:

People have said to me privately: ‘Niv, how do you see this going?’ I say well, from 1986 to 1991 I couldn’t be certain of anything. How can I be certain of anything now? They are maddeningly spontaneous, and I’ve always said that my definition of management is delivering spontaneity on demand.

Axl will not let this fail. He’s been working for too long. I think it will be a good show.


In early March, Guns N' Roses would send out a press release announcing Alice In Chains as their opener for the shows in Las Vegas:

(Los Angeles, CA) March 2, 2016 – One of the most celebrated acts in music history continue to make headlines as they prepare for their North American run in April. Guns N’ Roses—featuring the iconic lineup of Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan—will be joined on their sold-out Las Vegas dates by multi-platinum rock band Alice In Chains opening weekend at T-Mobile Arena on Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9.


And in late March, the cities that would be visited would be announced: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Toronto and Washington, D.C. [Facebook, March 24, 2016]. Billy Duffy would also disclose that the Cult was intended to open for GN'R on two shows outside of the US, suggesting that more shows were to be announced [Vanyaland, March 31, 2016].

On April 1, the tour was named the 'Not In This Lifetime Tour' [Press Release, April 1, 2016], an obvious joke referring to a quote from Axl in April 2012 about the likelihood of a full reunion [see previous chapter]. The dates of the shows were also listed:

Jun. 23 - Detroit, MI @ Ford Field
Jun. 26 - Washington, DC @ FEDEXFIELD
Jun. 29 - Kansas City, MO @ Arrowhead Stadium
Jul. 01 - Chicago, IL @ Soldier Field
Jul. 06 - Cincinnati, OH @ Paul Brown Stadium
Jul. 09 - Nashville, TN @ Nissan Stadium
Jul. 12 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Heinz Field
Jul. 14 - Philadelphia, PA @ Lincoln Financial Field
Jul. 16 - Toronto, ON @ Rogers Centre
Jul. 19 - Foxboro, MA @ Gillette Stadium
Jul. 23 - East Rutherford, NJ @ MetLife Stadium
Jul. 27 - Atlanta, GA @ Georgia Dome
Jul. 29 - Orlando, FL @ Orlando Citrus Bowl
Jul. 31 - New Orleans, LA @ Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Aug. 03 - Arlington, TX @ AT&T Stadium
Aug. 05 - Houston, TX @ NRG Stadium
Aug. 09 - San Francisco, CA @ AT&T Park
Aug. 12 - Seattle, WA @ CenturyLink Field
Aug. 15 - Glendale, AZ @ University of Phoenix Stadium
Aug. 22 - San Diego, CA @ Qualcomm Stadium


In December 2018, Opie Skjerseth, GN'R's longtime production director, would discuss the upcoming tour:

It was an honor to be asked to come back to do this tour. I was looking forward to getting the phone call. It’s been great and exciting from the very start. The stage design came together pretty quickly, over the course of a couple months. Axl [Rose] was on tour with AC/DC at the time, so it took a bit of back and forth to nail it down, but even with that, we got it going pretty quickly.

The production can be adjusted and used in many different settings, and can be modified to work in all of the places Guns N’ Roses play. In stadiums, we can wind it all the way up, and in arenas, we are able to make it a more intimate experience for the audience.

It varies based on the size of the show, but it could be upwards of 75 trucks and 200 crew members for a stadium show during this run, and then shrunk down for arenas and such.

Then it’s an eight-to-10-hour day for the crew to set up the production of this tour, including line checks, focus, soundchecks and so on, once everything is set up to make sure it is running smoothly and there are no issues.

One thing I wish concertgoers knew about handling production on a tour like Guns N’ Roses is the amount of time and crew members it really takes to make this show happen.


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Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:50 pm

MARCH 2016
AXL TO JOIN AC/DC FOR TOURING IN 2016

MARCH 19: EARLY SPECULATIONS

In March 2016, a fan of Guns N' Roses, Mark Guglielmo, met Axl at Loews Hotel in Atlanta and speculations erupted that Axl had been there to rehearse for AC/DC's upcoming tour [Alternative Nation, March 21, 2016].



Axl and Mark Guglielmo
Instagram, March 19, 2016



AC/DC had in the previous month released a statement saying that they had to postpone the remaining shows of their US our due to Brian Johnson's hearing issues and that they planned to bring in a guest vocalist for the postponed shows:

AC/DC are postponing the remaining dates of their U.S. tour because of lead singer Brian Johnson’s possible hearing loss. The band says in a statement that doctors have advised the ‘Back in Black’ singer to stop touring immediately or risk total hearing loss. The group’s shows beginning Thursday in Atlanta through April 4 in New York are being rescheduled for later in the year — likely with a guest vocalist. The group’s lone stop in Florida would have been Friday at the BB&T Center in Fort Lauderdale. AC/DC opened the most recent U.S. leg of its ‘Rock or Bust’ tour Feb. 2 in Tacoma, Washington.


Then a few days later, the news would seemingly be confirmed by DJ Jason Bailey at Rock 100.5 Atlanta:

This is what I'm being told: Axl was meeting with the AC/DC group, because it's all but a done deal that Axl will front AC/DC for the 10 remaining shows. All 10, including Atlanta. From what I was told, this was all kind of new inside information to me, Angus is a very black-and-white guy. He's like, Brian, for health reasons, can't continue fronting the band. He was supposed to retire after the last tour, so they wanted to continue going out on the road and continue making music, so if you can't do it, we appreciate your services, but the show must go on. They're in town, they were auditioning people for the job, and then they flew Axl in. Again, this is from my source."


Later, Darren Caperna, the singer of the Dallas-based AC/DC tribute band Back In Black, would state that more people auditioned for the position including him, but that he feared he wouldn't get it when he saw Axl there:

We were [in Atlanta for the audition] right before [Axl]. We flew in on a Sunday, we rehearsed on a Monday and then we flew out on a Tuesday. And they told us that I did a great job and they loved us. Let me tell you something: They made us feel like we've known each other for years. There was no rock star persona, there was nothing. Angus showed up in a jeans and t-shirt, and I hung out and I was drinking tea with them outside while telling stories and talking to each other like we were just hanging out at a studio, singing songs together. And they told us they don't know which direction they're going when we were leaving, but they wanted us to know that we did a great job. The manager came and told us the next day at the hotel. So we're sitting there waiting and waiting. The next week comes and we're waiting for the call. And then we see Axl Rose seen at the same hotel we were at in Atlanta, and I went, 'Oh, crap!' We didn't know, but we were kind of, like, 'That can't be a coincidence.'



MARCH 24: CONFIRMATION

On March 24, the rumours were confirmed by Malcolm Young's son stating on Facebook, "It's true" [Facebook/Ultimate Guitar, March 24, 2016]. On March 28, TMZ would post images of Axl emerging from rehearsal studios with AC/DC in Atlanta:


Axl
Instagram, March 28, 2016
AC/DC
Instagram, March 28, 2016


In May and June, Axl and Angus Young would talk about Axl having reached out to the band as soon as he heard Johnson would have to opt out for the remaining shows:

I called the day I read about it in the news, that there was a situation going on with Brian's hearing. I called a guy who's their production manager right now... because I knew there was going to be a problem with having dates on sale and dates sold and stuff like that. So if I could help, and if I was able to do it, and they were interested, I'd love to help. And that's how it started. I wasn't looking at it like, 'I'm singing for AC/DC.' I was looking at it like, 'y'know, if I can, and if they think I'm able to do it.

Axl contacted a production guy who had done stuff for us. He said, "I know these guys. They have a work ethic. They want to finish these dates." He volunteered. He came to a rehearsal place we set up in Atlanta, and he'd done his homework. He had a few songs like "Touch Too Much" [on 1979's Highway to Hell] – "Can you play this one?" "No, we never learned it." We had never attempted to play it live.

Well, I never thought about this. And when I thought about with this the day I read about Brian was that… the band was going to be in trouble. And No matter what happened. If they cancelled… if they had to cancel the tour they were going have a lot of problems with fans… A lot of problems with legalities just natural business stuff behinds the scenes forever. Then I thought yeah and if they postpone it whatever then find someone else- wait a minute. Find someone else? Fuck that. So, it was, but is also that Angus is my biggest influence [for moving around] I wanted to help. I just want to help him.


Richard would later mention that Axl had texted him as he was going into auditions with AC/DC:

You know, [Axl] texted me, he said, "Hey, I haven't told anybody yet, but I'm going to go audition." Well, he didn't say audition, "I'm going to go play with AC/DC, see how it goes." And I was thinking to myself, "Man, that's tough, I don't know, man, that's a tough one."


And Duff would mention that Axl had been nervous:

I mean, think about, I've gone and played with a bunch of other bands and so has Slash, played with so many other artists, and Axl never really got the chance to do that. And this was like...And he went and tried out the whole thing, you know, he was super nervous. [...] It's AC/DC, right. And Bon is his guy. So it was a big thing, when he left to go try out, you know, he came [and said] "Man, I don't know," like, "Dude, you have it." "I don't know, man. I mean, I don't know. I'm just gonna go try out and just go see," you know? And we knew he had it.

The way [Axl] did that was amazing. He was, like, 'If you guys don't mind, I'm gonna go try out. They need a hand here.' Bon Scott's his all-time [hero]. [We said], 'Dude, you know you don't really have to try out for AC/DC.' But he was really nervous. 'I'm gonna go try out. It fits in with our touring perfect.' And Slash and I were, like, 'You've got the gig.' But he went to Atlanta and tried out, quote-unquote, and got the gig.

It was actually kind of endearing when he said: “I'm gonna go and try out for AC/DC. And between their tour and ours I can make it all work if I can get the gig.” And we were like: “Dude, you’re gonna get the gig!” Because Bon Scott was his guy and AC/DC is his favourite band. And that range is what’s in his comfort zone. I don't know what his technique is, but he doesn’t damage his voice up in that range. So no, I didn't think it was crazy. He was able to do something that he’s always wanted to do since he was a kid.


And being asked why they chose him:

I paid them a lot of money!

One of their production guys they’ve worked with a long time, Obie, who also works with the Stones, he’s doing the Guns N’ Roses tour right now - he’s doing this tour. So it was somebody we had in common. When I read the news about Brian I just called Obie to find out what they were going to do – not in the sense of like, ‘yeah, I want in!’, it was more like, if I could help. I didn’t even know for sure what songs I could sing, I didn’t know what their dates were – I hadn’t looked at that. [But] I found out Obie had already thrown my name in the hat!


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Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:51 pm

MARCH 2016
MELISSA REESE JOINS GUNS N' ROSES

The guys call me Blue.

People, unfortunately, even now in 2017, have a tendency to be harder on women. You have to work to break glass ceilings and to be noticed and acknowledged. But if I spent my time worrying about that shit, [I’d] have less time to do the work.

________________
Two months after Chris' departure and with only a few weeks until the new lineup's first show on April 1, Melissa Resse was hired as the band's second keyboardist in March [LA Weekly, May 3, 2017].

Melissa would explain how it happened:

You sort of, in music, end up getting in tribes. Caram Costanzo, who produced Chinese Democracy [GNR’s long-awaited and notoriously expensive sixth studio album], was somebody in the tribe. He’s a good friend of Brain’s, he’s a good friend of mine. Caram called me in March 2016 and brought up the possibility of me coming in [to meet with the band] because there was a need for a new keyboard player. I thought it was a fuckin’ joke. I was trying to ask him about his wife and his new baby and all this stuff, and he wasn’t about that. He was like, “No, we need to talk.”

A couple days later I hear from him again. “Think about that at all?” So I started to take it a little more seriously, and then it got really serious a couple days after the second call, when I got a call from Brain: “What’s going on? I heard Axl is thinking about bringing you in. What do you think about this?” Axl loves Brain, they still have a great relationship. Since my name had been put up for discussion, Axl wanted to know, obviously, what Brain thought. So Brain told me, “This is a very intense thing that you have to consider. If the opportunity presents itself to you, you can’t say no.” And I’m like, “But I’m scared!” And he said, “You have to have this experience. Are you crazy?”


Brain would later explain that Caram had gotten to know Melissa from her and Brain working on the Guns N' Roses remixes:

And then at that point I had met Melissa who, you know, kind of came into my life and we were kind of like, "Hey," you know, "we kind of think alike," you know, she is like the Yin to the Yang. I kind of had all the drums and all that kind of shit down and the percussion and all the rhythm stuff and she had kind of the harmony stuff and all that kind of stuff and I was like, you know, I want to be a composer one day and she was like, "Well yeah, I mean that sounds rad, and," you know, "we should do some stuff," and I was like, "Yeah, I think we should." So we started doing some composing things together and just kind of producing some bands together, whatever. And at that point I was like finishing up some of the Guns stuff and I was like, "Hey do you want to play on some of this stuff and help me do some of it?" you know, and, you know, we started becoming Brain and Melissa's, like, composing team. And so she had played on some of the stuff and all that and then it kind of just went away, you know, the whole thing kind of went away. And then when Mother Goose... and then Caram and I, Caram we would still use as a mixer engineer kind of producer on some of the stuff that we were doing for composing, and so Caram would mix it for us and all that. So that's how Caram met Melissa and then when, I guess, Chris Pitman, you know, quit
[...]. And, you know, Caram was like, "Hey, what about Melissa?" you know, so Caram was kind of the one that spearheaded the whole like, "Hey, let's get Melissa in the band," or whatever.  [...] So Melissa goes there and, you know, hangs out and, I guess, you know, they liked her so she got in the band and she started doing it.

And when Mother Goose got fired you know, they needed a keyboardist then Caram - one of the producers that took over for Roy Thomas Baker - was like, "Hey, you think Melissa would want to do it?" and I was like, "I guess, yeah, that sounds cool." So she's doing the keyboard gig.

It was kind of like, you know, she was around, she had met, I think it was Caram, because we were doing a couple projects with Caram to help mix, and he was also producing stuff that he wanted us to help with. She was working with Caram on the side also as just helping him do some vocal stuff on stuff he was producing on the side when Guns was off tour. And then she knew Mother Goose because we would just hang out with Mother Goose, Chris Pitman. And out of nowhere, it was just like, I got a call. They were just like, "Hey, do you think Melissa would want to tour with us because Chris has left the band?" And I was like, "That's crazy, yeah, I'm sure she would." She's never really, you know, "That would be a great thing for her." And so, you know, she went and.... You know, she's a awesome keyboardist, arranger also, and just like kind of a musical director type. So, you know, I knew she could pull it off, it just would take some hard work and time and she just killed it. I think they all get along with her.

I got a call. That’s exactly what happened. I met Axl before and my composing partner Bryan ‘Brain’ Mantia was the drummer before. They knew of me as a producer and heard about my poetry work. I knew a lot of people in their camp. It just came up as an idea: what about her? I thought it was a joke. (They lost their keyboardist right before the reunion happened.) That’s how the music industry works in general. For producing or composing gigs, film and all that, you say yes to everything but it’s not necessarily a real question. Literally, nine times out of 10, it means nothing. But then, it wasn’t a joke.


Talking about Axl calling Brain to discuss her:

Axl also put in a call to my composing partner, ‘Do I have your blessing on this? I’m going to take your composing partner away, all of these stuff, can she pull it off?’ Of course, he vouched for me. But behind the scenes, he was, ‘Dude, it’s gonna be heavy and you should be prepared. It’s a really intense thing. You’re you and you’re used to being in a studio.’ So, you really, really have to be strong and deal with not being settled like constantly traveling all the time.


As for whether Brain had given her any tips about being in Guns N' Roses:

I just let her do her own thing because at that point it was a different band anyways. Now you got Slash back in the band and Duff. It's Guns N' Roses now. So it's a whole different animal.


Talking about being nervous when she first met the band:

So Caram asked me to come in. I’d met Axl and Dizz once, way before, when they played at House of Blues in 2012; Brain sat in with them, and I came and we hung out. I was intimidated by Axl, I was really quiet the first time I met him. I was scared of Dizz because he’s very intense. I’d met Richard and Frank before. But meeting everybody for this purpose, and especially meeting Slash and Duff, who I had no idea what to expect from them, I was very nervous, naturally. I was just reminding myself who I was. “You’re Melissa Reese. You’re a composer/producer/musician/singer. You are schooled, you know your theory, you can read music."

But the band is this very tight-knit, impenetrable family, and so if somebody gives an endorsement to somebody else, that’s listened to. It counted for a lot that multiple people who were in the family had already said, “She can pull this. She’s rad. At least take a look.” I was lucky. I don’t know who else they might have been looking at or if there was anyone else.

There was a vetting process, definitely. But it was ultimately up to Axl, the other band members and our managers Fernando and Beta (Lebeis) [to hire me]. You just have to be a very specific type of person to be able to work under these conditions. And what I mean by that is being personally, and musically respectful of something this crazy fucking iconic and huge, while simultaneously knowing your worth even though you’re a millennial girl. You gotta know what your puzzle piece is and where your value is, and be strong there.

But there was no formal [hiring] ceremony (laughs). There were a couple of awesome moments where I wanted to freak out a little bit. I remember early on they brought me in and sat me down in the rehearsal studio, and played through some of the set for me. I went, “Oh my god, like, wow, a concert just for me!” As I was listening though, my thoughts were spinning about how I had to fit in sonically with what they were doing, and there was like a fucked-up mental musical soup going on in my mind.

There were a couple of moments where I felt scared, for obvious reasons. There were times I remember when I was separated from everybody else doing all my mapping and programming and designing my rig and learning all the songs and then I started visiting their main band rehearsal (area) and they were all coming up to me excited like “You can sing this part, you can play this part.” I thought, I’ll do whatever they needed. I was just willing and open.


She would also talk about having to prove herself:

It was a process because I didn’t really think I was being asked. I thought it was a joke at first. It sort of went through these stages of, “Oh my god it’s not a joke.” Then I sort of started to have to actually do the hard work and really prove myself. By the time I got into the thick of it and thought okay I gotta get into this thing, I was fully in “work mode”. (The band–along with Caram Costanzo who originally recommended me, and our managers) respected it and saw that I was filling a lot of musical needs that the they had.


And that she had conflicting feelings about joining Guns N' Roses but became fully committed:

There were a lot of emotions, very bipolar emotions for me. I was like “Ah! What is happening to me right now”? But once I focused into work mode, the decision was made and I was in 1000%.




Melissa Reese
2017



Melissa would explain that despite her not being a typical rock chick she admired GN'R's song writing:

I mean, I was more, yeah, like into, like, urban music and hip-hop. And that was actually the kind of artist I was coming up when I was focusing more on being an artist. And so it wasn't, like, I wasn't necessarily like a rock chick first and foremost, but I always had a very deep appreciation for Guns' songwriting and just especially now being in the band, it's crazy because there's so many levels to the music [...]

We were raised in a very Catholic family, and I just saw the skulls and cross on the cover of “Appetite” [album belonging to her sister Stephanie], and I remember being scared of it. I was little, you know? It just looked so intense. I might’ve even heard the big songs and just not made the association with that record in its physical form.


And that she wasn't a fan of the band because it was "ahead of [her] generation":

It (GnR) was ahead of my generation. I do remember seeing the album cover of Appetite [for Destruction] and being afraid of it because we were raised Catholic [laughs]


To prepare herself for the tour she had two weeks of preparation, "spending 15 hours a day in the studio mastering 50 songs" [LA Weekly, May 3, 2017]:

I studied Axl [Rose]'s phrasing like a hawk.

I had two weeks to learn 30-to-50 songs. For the first week of rehearsal I wasn’t even in the same room as them. I had isolated myself to build my rig, the setup for my gear, and I was learning a new music computer program, mapping my keyboard, learning the set. I remember all of them, one at a time, would walk by and peek in like pre-schoolers. “When are you gonna play with us?” They were just so excited to have me come in and it hopefully be successful. It was sweet.


Looking at her opportunity in GN'R:

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But I'm eternally grateful to Axl and the rest of the band for taking a chance on me.


And being rightfully proud of her own achievement:

As much progress as our society and other societies have made with women’s rights, there’s still places and pockets where it’s “This is a boys’ club.” I think that’s where my initial little fire came from. I wanted to be in the boys’ club. I wanted to say, “I have just as much knowledge, I can work harder, I can do this just as good as you, if not better.”

I get DMs and PMs all the time from these moms that have little kids. “I grew up with this music, but I took my little girl" — or son! — "to the show, and they identified with you, and now they’re not quitting piano.” Or they’re learning to sing. And here’s a picture they drew of you. And the face is all fucked up but it has my three dots and the hair is blue. I think, You see? You have to have hope. I hope when I’m old and grey, some fuckin’ chick comes up and takes over the world and I’m just like, maybe I had .00001 percent to do with helping hurl her over the fence.

I get a lot of DMs on my socials about that, from young people and moms. That part to me is one of, if not the, most important part because obviously I want the music to live on and be relevant, but also the little girls and boys need that type of role model. It really hit me hard when I started getting tagged in photos of little girls dressed as me for Halloween. Those were very intense, like whoa. They even put the dots on their face and the blue wig. It’s crazy to be a costume, and so cool.



REACTIONS FROM FANS

I'm one of the only women doing what I do, so I use the hate to fuel my composing, or just rip onstage.

There were a couple times I got death threats on Twitter. There are some people who still want this to be a dude thing. But the guys (band members), and our manager Fernando Lebeis are very forward-thinking. They’re going, like, it doesn’t matter if she’s a she, or she’s purple, blue, green, gray, orange, whatever. If she’s rad, she’s rad, and we’ll give credit where credit is due. This is our puzzle and we’re missing this piece, and she’s that piece. Fuck it, fuck everybody. And they’ve had my back like that.

Filling those shoes, well, I basically had to make my own new pair of shoes and go, “I’m matching this outfit!” Cause the shoes didn’t really exist. At first, the whole vibe was just like, oh the OGs are getting back together and joining forces with other members that have been in the band for years and years. And, they’re bringin in a chick. And I was that chick. Everybody was thinking, what’s this going to be like? Not all of it has been (a walk in the park) with the fans. Especially, initially, I think, people were used to a boys club thing, but that’s since faded away.

I think it’s awesome [being the first woman in Guns N' Roses]. I feel that there are two sides to that coin. Sometimes, it’s a little heavy being the only chick but obviously, you also have the opportunity to be yes, girl power! You know what I mean? And I think that’s the most important thing to take away from it, for both the fans and for me. It is to be like, I’m repping for chicks, you know, and for young people around the world. That you can work as hard as you can and get to like a level like this for your own thing. This is possible! Break the glass ceiling!


And talking about the support from the band and management:

Axl specifically is so proud of [to have a woman in the band]. There was one conversation I remember — this was such a surreal moment in my life. Me, Axl, and Lenny Kravitz are in a room together, and he’s like, “Lenny, we’ve got a chick in the band!” He was so excited. And Lenny’s like, “I know.” He’d seen our show at the Troubadour. But, yeah, Axl from the jump has just had my back. He at one point had even given me a talk. “If anybody tries to talk shit or this or that, I have your back.”

These dudes not only had my back but they made it a point to let me know that. All the time. And it’s not just the band members. All our crew, our security, and of course, our managers. We’re all really, truly a family. And that’s how it’s been.


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:51 pm

MELISSA BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES

Melissa Reese was born on March 1, 1983, in Seattle, WA, USA.

The story my parents tell is that they heard somebody playing a beginner Bach piece on the piano in the living room, and they assumed it was one of my two older sisters playing, because both of them played the piano and violin. But they caught me, at four years old, plunking it out. I had learned it by ear. They were like, “OK, we have to take this seriously.” I don’t remember this exact incident, but I remember in general always wanting to be like my sisters and copying them. That’s kind of how it started.

From that time, I was stuck on a track and everybody was going to make sure I stayed on that track. My parents put me in a Montessori school, and I was kind of in a music boot camp from when I was really little: After school I had piano lessons, I had voice lessons, I had Northwest Girl Choir, I was a hula dancer for 13 years, singing on stage in competitions.


Melissa's parents would be strict about her practising music:

There were times when I threw tantrums — so much crying, so much “I don’t wanna do this.” But my dad, specifically, was really strict, and he was like, “Nope, you gotta do it.” Now everybody’s like, “If they don’t want to, don’t make them. They need to have choices!” For me, I wasn’t given a ton of choice. But if you look at those more intense rearing styles, like a Joe Jackson type or something — I’m not going to say I’m a fan of what he did. He was abusive to Michael and his family. However, Michael ended up becoming the most talented, famous, amazing fucking music artist of all time. I think there’s a healthy balance you can find. I don’t think my balance was what one would traditionally call “healthy,” no. But I also think it’s why I matured so quickly and picked things up faster.

When my older sisters were born, our parents didn’t have as much money, they were just starting out. By the time I came along they had their own real-estate company, they had a lot more money, they were able to put me in private school, but they were working all the time, so I was raised primarily by my mom’s parents. (My grandparents passed away when I was in the beginning of high school, end of middle school.) They gave me so much warmth and so much love in those formative years, and eased a lot of the negative feelings that I might have had at one point or another about being on this regimented path.


She started writing music when she was 12 and was discovered soon after:

I started writing music when I was around 12. I would just sit at the piano.  I found my own ways of writing that worked for me, and things just grew from there. I got what you might call “a break” in the music industry at maybe 12 or 13. I was discovered by Tom Whitlock, who has won Oscars and Grammys for his work. I ended up teaching myself Logic, Pro Tools and Reason, which was my go-to soft synth in the beginning.

When I was 13, my oldest sister took me to meet Tom Whitlock, who wrote huge hits, like “Take My Breath Away” from Top Gun. [We connected through] the most random series of events: He lived at that time in Bellingham, Washington, which is an hour-and-a-half north of Seattle. His neighbor randomly happened to know my [middle] sister, who was in a theater group with him, and he heard that Tom was looking for young singers. The neighbor remembered me singing Aladdin karaoke in our den, and he called my sister. “Is Melissa still singing?” I just remember walking into Tom’s house and there was his Oscar for “Take My Breath Away,” and I was like, “I know what that is! This is insane!”

Eventually, my parents started driving me back and forth to record in a studio Tom had in his house. It wasn’t for an album — maybe he had intentions for the songs to become an album. But I always refer to them as my first “demos.” I got to fly down to L.A., where they were mixed. The studio process was fascinating to me. I was obsessed with it, and I was too scared to really get in there and say, “Let me fuck with the board and let me do everything” — but I was looking at all the gear. He had a beat-making machine that I remember thinking looked like a spaceship. What does that button do? I was so hungry for knowledge.


From working with Whitlock she eventually got into writing and producing music:

Being in that environment and not knowing the ins and outs of how everything worked, it just felt funny and I didn’t want to feel like — even though it was not anybody’s intention — I was being relegated to “just the singer position.” Put some words in front of her. We do all the important shit. I’m like, “No, no, no, no. I need to know what all that is. I need to know all of this.” So I learned.

Around then, [Tom] introduced me to my first manager, Joey Minkes, and I remember going to him and saying, “I watched [Tom] and I could do this. I could come up with stuff.” I would sing Joey these pop-y, R&B songs that I was writing myself and he said, “Dude, you might want to think about writing and producing.” And I was like, “Hmmm.”


She then set herself the goal of becoming a contemporary artist while her voice teacher wanted her to go into classical music:

I was like, “Eff this, I wanna be a pop artist! I wanna do R&B, I wanna do soul, neo-soul.” I wanted to be like Alicia Keys. That really deviated from what my voice teacher wanted. She wanted me to go to conservatory, she wanted me to go to Juilliard or Curtis [Institute of Music] or Boston Conservatory, study classical voice, go into opera, maybe musical theater. Really, she saw me as this coloratura opera singer. I remember bringing her music I had written. “I’m doing this!” And she would be like, [horrified] “Ahhh, why?” She could not understand why I would not just respect the talent that I had and stay on that path.


Some years later she travelled to Los Angeles to work on music instead of following a pop star career in Seattle:

I wanted to become more independent in the studio. I didn't want to be controlled.

I went to L.A. immediately after high school. I took online classes in theory, music history, and jazz studies at North Seattle Community College, [but] never finished. I didn’t even apply [to other schools]. I knew what I wanted to do. I was living with my boyfriend at the time in a pretty lame apartment in Sherman Oaks that had horrible air conditioning. I had my studio set up, and we were just in there, sweating while I produced all this music, still with pop and R&B vibes. I worked a normal job for a little bit, at a youth sports photography company. I was grinding hard. Pretty soon thereafter, shit started to happen for me.


In Los Angeles she connected with Brain and together they would rent a studio in Santa Monica to work on composing [LA Weekly, May 3, 2017].

I first got into [scoring music for film and video games] with my partner Bryan “Brain” Mantia. He was brought in as a co-producer on some of the tracks I was working on with another producer. He and I actually ended up hitting it off better than either of us did with the other producer and that’s where it started. We travelled to LA to record some demos for Sony, and from there the phone never stopped ringing.

Brain, who did a lot of the rhythm stuff, would take coffee breaks. By the time he got back, I had written 15 hooks over finished beats.

I met Brain [Bryan Mantia], who was the drummer for Guns [in 2006] before Frank [the current drummer], through Joey [Minkes]. I found that as soon as I met him, creatively, we clicked, and it was on. In 2007, I did an EP called Lissa. I was in the studio with Brain and he had an urban dictionary, and he was literally opening up to random pages, throwing up a beat, going [pretends to point to a word], “Sing about this. Write a hook about that.” Words like emo, feels, beef, drank, creepin’. Those songs were written in under two hours. And then this dude who was running this label heard it through friends and said, “I wanna buy those.” I was like, “You wanna pay me thousands of dollars for this stuff? This happens in life?” I was like, “I can keep doing this! I have two more hours, let’s write 50 more!” I was over the moon. It was a media EP, [meaning] it was sent to music supervisors as music you can use in your show if you want. Tracks were on a ton of shows — Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Gossip Girl.

[Our next break came when] Brain went to the NAMM (National Academy of Music Merchants) convention, where vendors go to show their new products to the music community. He met a Sony music supervisor there, who was a fan of Brain’s drumming, and [the Sony exec] said, “Why don’t you come play drums on this video game we’re working on?” And then Brain called me and said, “I’m thinking I’m gonna just push and be like, ‘Can we have a shot at doing some of the actual music?’” He got us a shot. They gave us some music to listen to of the game in that series that had come right before. I remember us putting it on and staring at each other like [mouth hangs open]. It sounded huge. It sounded like Hans Zimmer. We were screaming and running around the room. “We’re never gonna be able to do this! What the fuck? Now we’re on the hook! We’re gonna look horrible in front of these people. What are we gonna do?”

We ended up getting it together and kicking ass on it and they gave us the job. You have to do like 200 minutes of music for these games — all the scenarios, all the battles. From then on we started doing more and more and more games. Eventually we got our first film, which was Joseph Kahn’s Detention (2011). We had a mutual friend who said, “You guys are doing all this cool shit. Did you ever think maybe you could do this movie?” It always happens like that.


Talking about writing music:

It depends if I’m working alone or collaboratively. It sounds funny, but by myself, my ideas usually come to me when I’m in the shower. There are times when I will purposefully take a shower just to get ideas flowing. I have a higher success rate in the shower than my car. I keep my phone in the bathroom with me in case inspiration strikes, and then I have to jump out and record the idea really fast so I don’t lose it. Then when I get out and dry off, I sit down and flesh the idea out.


And specifically with Brain:

When I’m working with a partner — Brain specifically — one of us will start something. Then we’ll do this routine where we’re constantly kicking each other out of the driver’s seat and adding our own layer onto what we’re doing. In that case, I handle all the melodic elements, and he handles the percussive side. I handle all the beautiful aspects, and he handles all the dark, gritty, vibey ones.


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:54 pm

APRIL 1, 2016
THE NEW LINEUP PLAYS THEIR FIRST SHOW AT THE TROUBADOUR

MARCH 30: RUMOURS ABOUT A SURPRISE SHOW

On March 30, the rumours starting to spread that the band would kick-off the touring in 2016 with an intimate, surprise show at the Troubadour in Hollywood [Blabbermouth, March 30, 2016].

On March 29, Guns N' Roses posted a picture of Ahead drumming sticks on Facebook, further speculation that Steven was to have some role in the surprise show since neither Frank or Matt (currently) uses that brand of sticks [Twitter/Loudwire, March 30, 2016].


APRIL 1: BACK WHERE IT ALL STARTED

In the morning of April 1, the band confirmed the show:



Poster
April 1, 2016



TONIGHT.
GUNS N’ ROSES.
Back where it all began…

Get your ticket at Gibson Brands on Sunset, formally known as Tower Records.
8801 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood.
A limited amount of tixs will be released at noon.

10Bucks.
1 Per Person.
Cash Only.
Non transferable.
No Cameras inside the event.

TROUBADOUR.
TONIGHT.
#GnFnR

Explore an Immersive GN’R Experience and Check Out the Pop-Up Shop at Gibson Brands on Sunset- Formally, Tower Records.


Article in LA Weekly:

This is not an April Fool's Day joke. Guns N' Roses really are playing a surprise warmup gig tonight at the Troubadour — the venue where the band's classic lineup of Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler played their first gig — for a few lucky fans.

Long-running rumors about the show were confirmed this morning via a press release. Tickets will be available at the old Tower Records on the Sunset Strip starting at noon for $10, cash only, one non-transferable wristband per person.

While fans wait in line, they can enjoy an “interactive GNR experience” designed by MadeWorn's Blaine Halvorson and featuring classic band attire, awards, artwork and other memorabilia.

The show's start time is listed as “sometime after 11 p.m.” Doors will open at 10 p.m.

Good luck getting those wristbands!


Before the show happened, Matt would say he would not be part of it [Twitter/Blabbermouth, April 1, 2016].


THE SHOW

The first show with Slash and Duff back as band members in 23 years. The band played a 16 song set, comprised of songs spanning the band's discography, including songs from Chinese Democracy: Chinese Democracy and Better.

The lineup consisted of Axl, Slash, Duff, Dizzy, Richard and Frank. Not surprisingly Chris was not part of the lineup, but had been replaced with Melissa Reese.



Duff, Melissa and Slash, backstage before the show
April 1, 2016


Slash and Frank
April 1, 2016
Duff, Slash, Axl and Frank
April 1, 2016


From the audiences:




I ran over there. It was exciting. I mean, come on. They're a stadium act playing a small room. The energy and anticipation in that room was crazy before they came up. It was high energy.



REVIEWS

Excerpts of review in mxdmw.com:

It is simply impossible to fairly provide an account of Guns N’ Roses momentous and long-storied return. It was instant history, the type that occurs once in a lifetime.

When GNR took to the stage Friday at the Troubadour, it was the final release of many years of pent up speculation, prayers and concern of a long-in-the-tooth, yet absolutely devoted fan base. As if out of scenes of the most genuine rock-n’-roll movie ever made, the energy inside and outside the venue was downright visible. Santa Monica Boulevard on a Friday night is always hectic. But on this night, it could have been shut down to accommodate the desperate faithful who had not gained access via an in-person presale earlier in the day.

Though there was much whispered discussion of the pop-up show, no proper confirmation ever surfaced. That did not deter hundreds of fans who lined up–starting at 8pm Thursday–to buy tickets at the old Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard. Those that braved a night on the sidewalks of the Strip were rewarded at day break, when they learned that $10 tickets to a show at the nearby Troubadour would become available at noon.

Fast forward to 10am. The overnight gathering had evolved in to a true modern happening. Social media was lit a fire by the band’s morning announcement of a forthcoming tour, but more importantly, of the show that night at the tiny, storied Troubadour. Helicopters flew overhead and news outlets began to assemble. Late comers raced up the hill of Horn Avenue, hoping to still have a chance.

By noon, the particular destinies of the fans began to come clear. About 250 people in line (ultimately, those who had joined the queue from 8pm the night before, to about 7:30am the morning of) were granted access to buy rock n roll’s golden ticket. Set at merely $10–a price probably similar to that for GNR’s original appearance at the Troubadour circa 1987–they were scooped up instantly, leaving the hundreds of late comers hungry and desperate.

With wristbands affixed to weary arms, the question of “Will I get in?” shifted to, will the music match the moment? Specifically, would the chemistry of a band that authored a ridiculous portion of today’s musical canon, thrive as it once did?

There are those that view similar reunions as nothing but a so-called money grab. But something felt different on this day. The money will assuredly follow, but this performance was about redemption. This performance was a chance to reappear on the scene as a vibrant, relevant, kick-ass band. It was an impossible task, but that is exactly what Guns N’ Roses did.[...]

Cockily remarking, “You might know this one,” Axl and the band launched in to the battle cry intro of “Welcome to the Jungle.” Set in the city for which it is widely known, the soaring song was as powerful and devastating as it was in 1987 on the beyond-iconic Appetite for Destruction. Never more so than when Axl brought it full circle, singing the infamous refrain, “Do you know where you are? You’re in the Troubadour baby. You’re gonna diiiiiiiiiiie.” [...]

After Dylan’s excellent “Knockin on Heaven’s Door,” Axl candidly engaged the audience once again, testifying, “See? I’m agreeable. I am an agreeable person,” perhaps revealing another glimpse in to his own (and perhaps our own?) mind as he embarks on a precarious, large-scale tour with his long lost band. Almost 90 minutes in to the show, “Nightrain crushed as a set closer. A prototypical Guns anthem, it evoked another welcome burst of nostalgia.

Following a rendition of The Who’s “The Seeker” to start the encore, the show ended appropriately with “Paradise City.” Similar to “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Welcome to the Jungle,” the song has become an undeniable piece of nearly all rock lovers’ musical DNA. Like the entire experience, it is damn near impossible to translate in print the emotional weight with which such a song was delivered.

Many in the audience will in all likelihood never love a band like they do Guns N’ Roses. Their songs represent a time and an attitude past that cannot be replicated. To see the band reunited on the precipice of their reemergence, in a city and venue from whence they came, at an event where omnipresent cellphones were thoughtfully banned by organizers, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to revisit the simpler – and dirtier – bygone days of 1987.


Excerpts of review by Art Tavana in LA Weekly:

There wasn't a single person at the Troubadour who wasn't pinching themselves into bruises, or wishing they were allowed to document this shit on their cellphone (GNR's management forced attendees to lock their phones in magnetic bags handed out by the venue).

There were about 250 of us in attendance, including 50 "special guests" who peered down from the balcony of the Troubadour like aristocrats at the opera. Lenny Kravitz, Jim Carrey, Andrew Dice Clay and Nicolas Cage sat unmoved for 17 songs as if they were witnessing a cosmic occurrence. There were also lots beautiful women, the only attendees who were somehow allowed to keep cellphones to document the formerly "World's Most Dangerous Band," now "The Only Band That Matters" — or if that's too Clash-y for you, how about: "The Biggest Band on the Planet," which is undeniable at this point.

For GNR fans, this was their first exhale after 23 years of being suffocated by their seemingly doomed destiny as rock's most forgotten fan base. Since the band's meltdown between 1991 and 1997, we've had no closure. We couldn't even get a proper Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2012, when Axl bailed, then penned an open letter that confused fans even more. 2008's Chinese Democracy, which was brilliant in parts, was nearly a decade ago and still requires a decoder to understand who plays what, and what Axl's intended vision was versus what the label ended up releasing.

We spent way too many years obsessively analyzing the reasons why Axl and Slash broke up; now, we can obsess over the mystery of why they finally reunited. And why Izzy Stradlin doesn't use the Internet. And whether Steven Adler can actually play "Civil War" now.

The GNR fanboy's neuroses were mostly cured on Friday, April Fool's Day, when the band gave their fans an adoring valentine that massaged away all pain: a reunion gig at the Troubadour, where Slash, Axl and Duff shared the stage together, again, confirming in the flesh for the first time that GNR is really, finally back together. [...]

Slash rushed out first, wearing skin-tight leather pants, his voodoo top-hat over his curly mane, and a black sleeveless T-shirt that showed off his ripped arm. GNR opened with "It's So Easy," while almost everyone was expecting "Welcome to the Jungle." Slash played on four different guitars throughout the night (including a custom R guitar and various Gibson Les Pauls), which were handed to him by guitar tech Adam Day.

He was followed by Axl Rose, clean-shaven and much fitter than the last time I saw him, with shoulder-length ginger hair. He was wearing snakeskin boots, ripped designer jeans and a black leather jacket . He also had diamond encrusted gems wrapped around his fingers, which held firmly a red microphone. Two shiny silver crosses hung from his neck like a swag-rap MC or Elvis. Axl's look seems to have found the balance between extravagance and punk.

Duff wore a black vest and looked like he'd just been on a yoga retreat; his lean bicep muscles were just about bursting out of his skin as he moved his arm down the fretboard. Even his facial muscles looked like they were toned.

Another interesting look for the band was their first official female member (not simply a backup singer, like on the UYI tour). Her name is Melissa Reese, a musician and model, who wore glittery kicks and bounced around behind the keys like a raver (she also has greenish hair), while experimenting with various sound effects. Behind the kit was Frank Ferrer, who plays with hammering smoothness and a bit more feeling than Matt Sorum (who didn't make the cut for the current incarnation of GNR). He's also tighter than Adler, who probably still can't play "Civil War," while Ferrer can play it all.

The set included songs from every GNR era, including the surreal experience of watching Slash play funkier versions of Buckethead and Robin Finck solos on "Chinese Democracy" and "Better." Those songs showcased the undeniable fact that Axl Rose still has remarkable control of his falsetto and range, but on softer songs like "Sweet Child O' Mine," he sounds like he's missing the sandpaper quality that made him such a wild animal on the microphone. Then again, when Axl's revved up and screams, "You know where you are? ... You gonna die!", he sounds as vicious as always.

Slash shredded on all his solos and seemed more serious than usual, rarely showing any emotion and just focusing on his guitar and the occasional acrobatic leap to the front of the stage. Often he was close enough to touch, or to feel his dangling guitar string whip your face. Axl, other than a point during "Paradise City," the closer, was all smiles (he even threw his chrome whistle into the crowd). He looked reinvigorated, never out of breath, triumphant in his aviators, and constantly pushing his vocals to prove that he's still got what it takes to lead this band.

Back to the "Paradise City" moment. At one point during the song, the crowd was basically pushing themselves onto the stage when Axl said, forcefully, "Stop." When the crowd obeyed, he said, "Thank you," looked over to Duff and said, "Keep going." Twenty-three years ago, he would have stopped the show. Axl looked angry, but like the professional he's become, he managed to play on and lead his troops into battle.

"I'm the agreeable type," he said, when discussing, jokingly, his flexibility on picking the set list— even thought most people know Axl doesn't sing songs he doesn't feel like singing. But Axl is easier to work with these days. He's been in the studio with AC/DC in Atlanta, didn't show up late to the Troubadour, and added some self-deprecating humor to the night when he discussed his tendency to dictate the set list.

"I'm like Trump, I consult with myself," he said.



NOT TO BE RELEASED

Since it was recorded there would be speculations that it would eventually be released, but Fernando Lebeis denied this possibility:

Unfortunately I don't think this will ever see the light of day.
Our vision for that show was directed as a trip to the past, no phones just pure music, love and being there/bragging rights like back then was.



LOOKING BACK AT THE SHOW

[...] the most surreal moment [after rejoining GN'R] was sound check at the Troubadour. That was a very surreal moment. We had, you know, way before we played the show and everything, and just being together with everybody, being in that particular environment, of course stuffing 10 times more gear in there than we had back in the day. And then just, you know, looking over and seeing Axl, and seeing Duff and... that was a very surreal moment. The rest of it seemed very, very new. Like, you know, I’m with a guy who was a partner in crime with me for many years before we had this sort of like, you know, falling out thing. And then obviously, Duff. And we were up there playing these gigs, and I know these guys, I know these songs, but something, something about it, wasn’t really reminiscent of, say, the Use Your Illusion tour. So it felt really sort of fresh and new, and... it’s weird, it’s an interesting thing. It didn’t make me like... it didn’t hit those tiny moments of like “Oh my god, I remember hitting this chord and he was there back in 1991” or anything like that.

But the most surreal moment was getting to soundcheck at the Troubadour. That was a trip because I have such a history with the Troubadour, even from before Guns when I was a kid. Then it was where my first gig with Axl and Steven [Adler] was as Hollywood Rose; and the first Guns’ gigs; and getting signed based off of one of those performances. Then seeing us all there, but bringing in three trucks full of gear, that was a trip.

Oh, you know there's always a little bit of pressure I guess, you know, at the level that the band plays at and what people expect, I suppose. Not so much for me, more for the other guys I guess. It was it was a little bit emotional, I think for me, I'd spent so many nights at the Troub, I used to sleep upstairs at the Troubadour when I didn't have a place to stay, you know. So a lot of history in that place. First gig I ever did in LA was at the Troubadour. So that was amazing. But there was, you know, so many [?] just people I hadn't seen in a long time. And you know, there was, there was TV and and everything there. So it was a big deal. It was kind of a whirlwind, you know, just kind of flew by, but, man, it felt right. It really did it. It was a great way to kick things off, that's for sure, you know? So yeah, it was great.

It wasn't even the gig so much as showing up for soundcheck and being in this venue that we got our start in. I have a history going back there to when I first moved to Los Angeles — 6 or 7 years old and going with my parents to see Linda Ronstadt. That afternoon loading in and getting set up for soundcheck, that was a very surreal moment for me.

Actually, the first song of the show wasn’t as surreal as showing up there for soundcheck. That was, I think, the real surreal moment. But at the same time, one of the interesting things about reuniting with Guns is that it doesn’t remind me of anything from the past. There’s not flashbacks, like, “I was standing here at this time 20 years ago…” or some bullshit like that. I just look over and I see two guys I’ve known for 30 years. There is that familiarity, and there’s a familiarity with the songs, but it all seems very new. But that said, I have to say that that moment I got onstage at soundcheck at the Troubadour it was sort of like a time-lapse camera that went all the way back to 1985. [laughs]

It was in L.A., a surprise show. It was on April Fools’ Day (2016). People were like anticipating it being a thing. I was pretty freaked out in my mind but also just getting into the work mode and telling myself to keep it together. So, I was doing my thing and the whole place was packed and heavy. Axl broke his foot on the second song and powered through and finished the show like a badass. No one knew a reunion was happening. The whole top-tier of the rows (was) the who’s who of Hollywood. Then, there was paparazzi running after you. I really had to hide out. It was a pretty heavy situation. There were people in that show who had been to every single show for the last three years. And they cry, they freak out, they’re like the same since that Day 1. They just love the music and the band so much. That first show was just so crazy!

The first show that we did was magic. That was unbelievable.

The Troubadour was surreal, like some kind of magical night. In that place we had our musical beginnings, so it was also emotionally charged. We haven't played there since the 80s. It was a crazy and memorable moment.

It felt right, it felt normal, and it felt like we hadn't skipped a beat.

Fucking super-nervous!

I've gotta say, and I can't really say it enough -- just the fact that we got together way before that and communicated and talked would have a lasting effect on me personally. Then [we thought], 'Okay, well, [let's] try some gigs. Coachella wants us to play. That's two weekends. We can do that. Why don't we do something on April 1st, April Fools' Day? Announce it maybe with a question mark.' But Axl, third song in, breaks his foot at the Troubadour. A nerve-racking thing that show, 'cause it was first time back. And then there was a monitor thing. I saw it. He's pretty athletic too -- he can bounce around and do stuff. He slipped on that thing, and on his mic, he goes, 'I think I broke my foot.' But he got on and finished the set. And I'm, like, 'Okay. Maybe he sprained it.' No, but he broke his foot in six places. But we continued on -- he wanted to continue on. I think it was a call to arms for him.


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:55 pm

AXL HAS SURGERY AFTER BREAKING A BONE IN HIS FOOT AT THE TROUBADOUR

While playing Mr. Brownstone, the second song of the set, at the Troubadour on April 1, Axl had a fall that resulted in broken bone in his foot.

It was great for about a song and a half.

Yeah, he broke his foot. Second song, man.


Asked if he realized he had broken his foot as it happened:

Yeah, I was pretty sure I did. [...] Because my sister had just broken her leg a few months before and she'd made this comment, she goes, "You know, when you break something, you know," and all of a sudden on stage I was like, "She's right, you know."


SURGERY

At some point after the Troubador show and the next show in Las Vegas on April 8, Axl underwent surgery to and had a cast fitted [Twitter, April 8, 2016].

This is what can happen when you do something you haven't done in nearly over 23 years,"Internal Fixation"
Twitter, April 8, 2016


Together with the tweet above, Axl posted a video of a doctor explaining the surgery:




Axl on crutches
April 2016



To avoid having to cancel shows, Axl would have a special "set" designed for the stage that would allow him to perform [Blabbermouth, April 8, 2016]. Eventually, he would borrow the chair Dave Grohl had made when he was injured:

[...] whatever he did designing that chair- he said he was like high on oxy after his surgery and drew this thing- you can find the picture on the internet- but I knew he made the chair. My people were having one made- I never even saw it- and they said when they go it and cirque du soleil was building it or something and when they go it, it was horrible. One of my assistants' boyfriends said someone in this band know Grohl. But they didn't tell me so it was a surprise. I never met Dave and I always wanted to work with Dave. Then he sent the chair and came to the show and said how he missed it. [...] When, Dave, when the chair came down I guess he was- people told me- he was in the hallway and was like "I missed this thing, I felt like an emperor."


Duff would comment on the injury:

It was just strange, the whole thing. [It was] our first show. [It happened during] the second song. He didn't complain once. That's the thing. We finished the show. He said, 'I think I broke my foot.' And sure enough, six pins later… And he didn't complain one time through that whole chair thing. So… I think everything happens for a reason. I think it drew us around… kind of drew us in tighter. And singing those kind of songs sitting down is a tough, tough deal. So, I think, yeah, he persevered.
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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:56 pm

APRIL 8 AND 9, 2016
THE BAND PLAYS TWO SHOWS AT T-MOBILE ARENA IN LAS VEGAS

The next two shows in 2016 happened on April 8 and 9 at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, USA. For this show the band played Coma for the first time since 1993.

But it was really good doing the song Coma. I knew it would make Slash happy, it would make fans happy and since I was sitting in the chair I didn't have to worry about running around and trying to breathe.


Because of this foot injury, Axl performed most of the shows sitting in the chair borrowed from Dave Grohl [see previous chapter].

In the chair at first it is strange and you have to figure out how you are doing something.

The fact that Axl had hurt his foot and he went up with that chair - to me it showed that he was in it to win it. He stuck it out like a champ!

I had the opportunity to see the first night they did in Las Vegas. It was just so great to see those guys together on stage again. As a rock fan, it’s good for rock. It’s a well-needed shot in the arm for rock’n’roll.

We played The Troubadour April 1st, 2016. And Axl broke his foot, like, third song in, and I thought, Well, we've got this one show under our belt. We did this thing. And he wanted to continue on. He was, like, 'This isn't gonna stop me.' We played a bunch of shows with him in a cast in a chair [...].

You know, I didn't really know that he actually broke it [during the Trobadour show]. I mean, it's a, until later and I gotta hand it to Axl, man. He's amazing. And he's amazing on two legs, and he pulled it off with one leg, man. He did it. And I can't say enough about him and his work ethic and how incredibly amazing he is on stage, man. It's, you know, so, yeah.




Show poster
April 8, 2016


Duff, Axl and Slash, backstage
April 8, 2016
Melissa, Duff and Slash, backstage
April 8, 2016


I think you know this guy. I don’t know what it is, but it’s pissed off, and it calls itself Slash.
Onstage, T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, USA, April 8, 2016




Axl and Slash
April 8, 2016



Review of the April 8th show in Rolling Stone Magazine:

The reunion of the so-called classic Guns N' Roses lineup had faced enough obstacles already. Fans complained that original members Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler weren't on board, and rumors flew that the thaw between formerly fractious band leaders Axl Rose and Slash was less about mending fences than cashing in. So it looked like one more bad omen when news leaked Friday that Rose had broken a bone in his left foot after the group's impromptu warm-up gig April 1st at Los Angeles' venerable Troubadour, necessitating surgery. But not only did the frontman vow that the show would go on, he and the rest of the band – especially his lead guitarist – delivered a persuasive, often exhilarating reunion show Friday night at Las Vegas' newest venue, the T-Mobile Arena. And they did it with a little help from Dave Grohl.

After a churning, hit-heavy opening set from Alice in Chains, the ravenous, sold-out crowd waited 90 minutes for the notoriously late Rose to make an appearance. But just before midnight, he arrived to deafening cheers – while sitting on a tricked-out, Middle Ages-era throne complete with light displays that surrounded his head like a glowing aura. The eagle-eyed in attendance noted that the seat looked awfully similar to the throne constructed for the Foo Fighters leader last summer after he broke his leg, but it was only at the end of GN'R's show that the roadies removed a covering that had obscured the Foos' iconic "FF" logo underneath. "That's a good advertisement," Rose said admiringly of the logo, an indication of the singer's jovial demeanor throughout his band's two-and-a-half-hour set.

With his left leg in a cast, Rose was deprived of the frenzied movements he typically brings to his concerts. But the lack of mobility added an unexpected air of regal splendor and humanizing humility to the singer's collection of schizophrenic songs that veer wildly between impassioned mash notes and toxic kiss-offs. Shrieking, wailing and cooing sweetly from his throne, Rose ruled his kingdom of metaphorical and literal pain, serving as the tortured center of GN'R's vibrant, melodramatic tunes. And he was clearly in a good mood, smiling frequently, offering a polite "Thank you" each time the crowd roared its approval for a song, and commenting "Nice place you got here" about the spacious but comfy arena that, just the night before, had been christened by hometown heroes the Killers.

The Troubadour show may have been the first time that Rose, Slash and original bassist Duff McKagan have played together since 1993, but any naive hope that these reunion gigs would somehow thrust Guns N' Roses back in time to the jet-black menace of 1987's Appetite for Destruction quickly dissipated. Although plenty of Appetite material made the set list, the band's current configuration – which includes guitarist Richard Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrer, keyboardist/percussionist Dizzy Reed and keyboardist Melissa Reese – emphasizes the sweeping grandeur and cinematic shading that first took hold with the Use Your Illusion records and became even more prominent on the long-simmering Chinese Democracy. Even when Slash and his cohorts locked into the ferocious riffs of "It's So Easy" or "Welcome to the Jungle," the combustion was more glitzy Vegas than seedy Sunset Strip.

If Rose and Slash were affected by the whispers that their reunion was spurred by money, they betrayed no unease, the frontman busy hurling his lyrical antagonisms while the guitarist moved around the stage – his features hidden, as always, by his trademark top hat and long, curly black hair. But the lack of overt warmth between them couldn't obscure a shared, invisible onstage connection. After Rose struggled initially to reach the high notes on Chinese Democracy's "This I Love," Slash rescued his comrade with a guitar solo that articulated the song's anguish and vulnerability with such force that it seemed to embolden the singer when he got back on the mic for the final verse.

Perhaps not surprising for a show that dripped with nostalgia — many in the crowd sported vintage GN'R tour shirts when they weren't straight-up doing Slash cosplay — individual band members paid tribute to the diverse influences that had once inspired the nascent group but also predicted its fractious future. McKagan took a turn as lead singer, powering through revered British punk-rockers the Damned's "New Rose," while Slash and Fortus duetted on an instrumental version of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here," which led to Rose getting on the piano for a performance of the instrumental coda to "Layla." The coiled fury of punk sparring with the broad emotional canvas and musical dexterity of 1970s classic rock: That's one way to describe the warring creative instincts that built up in Guns N' Roses around the time of the Use Your Illusion albums as Rose began to assert control over the group and indulge his operatic sonic ambitions.

Still, what was cheering about this first official reunion show, which will pave the way for a stop at Coachella and a 21-city tour, is that both halves of the band's personality got to have their say — and they both flourished. When Rose unfurled the gargantuan Illusion power ballads "Estranged" and "November Rain," his goopy tales of romantic disillusionment — encompassing everything from sorrow to anger to acceptance to hope — were guided and in some ways ennobled by Slash's precise playing and Ferrer's monolithic drumming, which counterbalanced the songs' bloated running times. (As for Reed and Reese, thus far they only really provide minute instrumental coloring, their contributions drowned in a sea of guitars, bass and drums.)

But the night belonged to the man in the chair. "I see how you could get used to this," Rose said with a laugh near the end of the show as he limped from his crutches offstage to climb up onto the throne. What was left unsaid was that what has made Rose such a spectacular and often maddening rock star is that, from the beginning, he's always wanted to wear the crown — and like Macbeth, once he had it, his paranoia and megalomania threatened to become his undoing. In some ways, seeing him at last sitting on a throne felt anticlimactic, even redundant.

Not that Rose's loyal subjects cared. Even after 150 minutes of pummeling, emotionally fraught hard rock, only a few in attendance left early, most of them stumbling out of the arena after the closing number, "Paradise City," with a bleary-eyed look and happy, tired smiles. As fans turned for the exits, not many noted that Slash and Rose, on crutches, headed offstage together, their heads turned to one another. It was impossible to know what was being said. But their body language suggested two survivors who recognized a kindred spirit.


For the second show, on April 9, Sebastian Bach came onstage and helped sing My Michelle.



Show poster
April 9, 2016



I want to thank the legion of fucking awesome GNR fans for the incredible support. These last 3 gigs have been unreal! Cheers! iiii]; )'
Twitter, April 10, 2016

HUGE THANK YOU to Dave Grohl for the use of his rock Throne! An amazing gesture!Words rn't enough!! Makes all the difference up there!
Twitter, April 10, 2016

And a HUGE thanks to Harper Willow for letting her dad come to the show!!
Twitter, April 10, 2016

After 3 months of busting our asses in rehearsals, it all came together last night. Such a great time and can't wait for the tour this summer!
Facebook, April 9, 2016

Thank you @AliceInChains and f*cking Dave Grohl for helping last night happen. #GNFNR2016
Twitter, April 9, 2016

The last time I was on stage with these guys was nineteen-fucking-ninety-one
Onstage, T-MoBILE Arena, Las Vegas, April 9, 2016



Axl and Sebastian Bach
April 9, 2016
The band
April 9, 2016


Brain came to see the shows:


Brain with two fans in Las Vegas
April 2016



And so did Vicky Hamilton:

I did [go], I mean, it’s like the band I worked with all grown up. I think the musicianship is better, all the bells and whistles are there, but for me it just didn’t have the intensity of the earlier days. How could it, you know. They’re not twenty anymore.

It was awesome. Obviously I wish that Steven [Adler] and Izzy [Stradlin] [were there]. To me it’s not quite a reunion without all of the five magical pieces. But I loved seeing it. They looked great. I think they’re better musicians than they ever were. They’re older and really can’t make those moves anymore, and Axl was sitting and all that. I missed some of the rawness and the spontaneity they had back in the day, but it was great to see.


And Melissa's parents who at the time was not aware she had joined Guns N' Roses, although it is strange how they wouldn't have heard about it after she played with the band at the Troubadour just a week prior:

I wasn't supposed to talk about what I was doing because the band wanted news of me joining to be a surprise — and my dad has a big mouth. So [the first time my parents saw me play], I just told my sister, “Can you bring them to Vegas and say that we’re going to take them to the Blue Man Group or something?” And my dad’s looking around. “This is a nice new arena!” And then my mom is like, “Is that Liss? Is that Liss on stage? What’s happening? Why is she there?” My sister took video of some of it, it’s pretty funny. By the end, my mom’s at the little fence jumping during “Paradise.”

I forced (Stephanie)[=Melissa's sister] to keep it a secret. They didn’t know at first because our dad would tell everybody. Like the band is really tightlipped on the press and about saying certain things for obvious reasons. And everybody is always trying to infiltrate and get info about these people because they’re these musical icons or gods basically… Nobody was supposed to know that I was part of a surprise, that they are getting back together and there’s this new girl.

I tasked Steph to not say anything and just bring (my parents) to Vegas for a big show. Because I used to do these little things for them, I pay for them to go on these little vacations, it wasn’t weird for them to be sent to Vegas. It happened Steph was with them and took care of them. They thought it was business as usual. And when it was revealed… (I was) in the band, dad was like, wait a minute, what’s going on? He didn’t know anything! It was in an arena with 40,000 seats. He was like what are we doing? My mom was just jumping up and down. She’s just super happy. Our parents have met (GnR) a lot of times.


On April 20, Boxscore revealed that the gross sales for the two shows in Las Vegas had been $6,265,076 [Boxscore/Ultimate Guitar, April 20, 2016].

Looking back at the new lineup's first shows:

Yeah, the first couple of shows [laughs] it was everyone's sort of feeling their way around.


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:57 pm

APRIL 2016
MATT CONFIRMS HE IS NOT PART OF THE LINEUP

With Matt not being part of the three first "reunion" shows, a fans asked him if he would join the tour later, to which Matt responded, "No sir, they didn't ask me" [Twitter, April 10, 2016].

In March 2019, he would say he probably heard about the reunion when everyone else did, and that life goes on:

Probably about when everybody else did [laughs]. I was in a band, Hollywood Vampires, then for a minute. It was kind of around that time, that's basically what happened and then it just went the way it went. Life goes on.


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:57 pm

APRIL 16, 2016
IT IS OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED: AXL JOINS AC/DC

On April 16, AC/DC sent out a press release confirming that Axl would fill in for Brian Johnson for AC/DC's remaining European tour dates:

AC/DC band members would like to thank Brian Johnson for his contributions and dedication to the band throughout the years. We wish him all the best with his hearing issues and future ventures.  As much as we want this tour to end as it started, we understand, respect and support Brian’s decision to stop touring and save his hearing.  We are dedicated to fulfilling the remainder of our touring commitments to everyone that has supported us over the years, and are fortunate that Axl Rose has kindly offered his support to help us fulfill this commitment.


The tour dates were as follows: May 7 – Lisbon, Portugal – Passeio Maritimo De Alges, May 10 – Seville, Spain – Estadio De La Cartuja, May 13 – Marseille, France – Stade Velodrome, May 16 – Werchter, Belgium – Werchter Site, May 19 – Vienna, Austria – Erns-Happel Stadium, May 22 – Prague, Czech Republic – Letnany Airport, May 26 – Hamburg, Germany – Volksparkstadion, May 29 – Berne, Switzerland – Stade De Suisse, June 1 – Leipzig, Germany – Red Bull Arena, June 4 – London, England – The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, June 9 – Manchester, England – Etihad Stadium, and June 12 – Aarhus, Denmark – Ceres Park [Billboard, April 16, 2016].

Axl would also confirm the news in a tweet:



Twitter, April 17, 2016



Brian Johnson would also comment on the situation:

As many AC/DC fans know, the remaining shows for the 2016 AC/DC 'Rock Or Bust' world tour, including 10 postponed U.S. shows, are being rescheduled with a guest singer. I want personally to explain the reason because I don't believe the earlier press releases sufficiently set out what I wanted to say to our fans or the way in which I thought it should be presented.

On March 7th, after a series of examinations by leading physicians in the field of hearing loss, I was advised that if I continue to perform at large venues, I risked total deafness. While I was horrified at the reality of the news that day, I had for a time become aware that my partial hearing loss was beginning to interfere with my performance on stage. I was having difficulty hearing the guitars on stage and because I was not able to hear the other musicians clearly, I feared the quality of my performance could be compromised. In all honesty, this was something I could not in good conscience allow. Our fans deserve my performance to be at the highest level, and if for any reason I can't deliver that level of performance, I will not disappoint our fans or embarrass the other members of AC/DC. I am not a quitter and I like to finish what I start. Nevertheless, the doctors made it clear to me and my bandmates that I had no choice but to stop performing on stage for the remaining shows and possibly beyond. That was the darkest day of my professional life.

Since that day, I have had several consultations with my doctors and it appears that, for the near future, I will be unable to perform on stage at arena- and stadium-size venues where the sound levels are beyond my current tolerance, without the risk of substantial hearing loss and possibly total deafness. Until that time, I tried as best as I could to continue despite the pain and hearing loss but it all became too much to bear and too much to risk.

I am personally crushed by this development more than anyone could ever imagine. The emotional experience I feel now is worse than anything I have ever in my life felt before. Being part of AC/DC, making records and performing for the millions of devoted fans this past 36 years has been my life's work. I cannot imagine going forward without being part of that, but for now I have no choice. The one thing for certain is that I will always be with AC/DC at every show in spirit, if not in person. Most importantly, I feel terrible having to disappoint the fans who bought tickets for the canceled shows and who have steadfastly supported me and AC/DC these many years.

Words cannot express my deep gratitude and heartfelt thanks not just for the recent outpouring to me personally of kind words and good wishes, but also for the years of loyal support of AC/DC. My thanks also go to Angus and Cliff for their support.

Finally, I wish to assure our fans that I am not retiring. My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that. For the moment, my entire focus is to continue medical treatment to improve my hearing. I am hoping that in time my hearing will improve and allow me to return to live concert performances. While the outcome is uncertain, my attitude is optimistic. Only time will tell.

Once again, my sincere best wishes and thanks to everyone for their support and understanding.

Love, Brian


With the news that Johnson would be replaced with Axl, ticket-holding fans could request to have their money refunded [Blabbermouth, April 26, 2016]. According to a report on May 3, about 7,000 Belgian fans who had tickets for the May 16 show at Werchter Festivalpark in Werchter, had asked for a refund [De Standaard/Blabbermouth, May 3, 2016].


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:57 pm

REACTIONS TO AXL JOINING AC/DC

Reactions to the rumours and news that Axl would join AC/DC were mixed:

I was stoked. I was jumping for... I can't even tell you. I think I might talk to you about the tweet that I threw out there, like, "the biggest balls in rock'n'roll got Axl Rose for pulling that off," because that's major kudos. Major kudos. [...] I'm totally stoked. You know what, there are not a lot of guys that have the pipes to do that gig.

I don't think anything. I guess I'll hear it at some point, and then I can make my opinion. I guess I could kind of imagine in my brain, but I don't even know what Axl sounds like now. I haven't heard Axl Rose sing in a long, long time. So, can he sing AC/DC songs? I don't know. I suppose AC/DC must think so, if it's true. So I'm sure I'll get to hear it soon enough on the Internet somewhere and then I guess I'll have an opinion on it. I wish they would get Angry Anderson, the guy who was in Rose Tattoo. I don't know if Angry Anderson is still even singing anymore. But I always thought, in 1980, he was the guy. I didn't know who Brian Johnson was yet, but I knew Angry Anderson in 1980, and when Bon [Scott] died, I was hoping Angry Anderson was gonna join AC/DC, 'cause he was from Australia and he sounded like a guy who should be in AC/DC. But then Brian came and Brian was great. So who knows? My personal opinion is, without Brian at this point, I think they should just stop. Why? Why? You're AC/DC. I don't think they need the money. It would be pretty hard to imagine that they still are out there working because they need money. But who am I to say? It's just my opinion. But I wish… If Brian is done, then I wish the band would stop. That's just my personal, shitty opinion.

I just think that’s such a unique combination. Whoever has tickets to that show has got the golden ticket, because who doesn’t want to see that? At first I thought it was an April Fool’s thing. I went, ‘Oh, come on.’ Then I started thinking about it and said, ‘You know, his voice is absolutely perfect for that band. That might just work.'

I think Axl’s got the right voice for that. Brian’s a friend. I’m a huge fan of AC/DC from back in the day. I was devastated when Bon Scott passed away and I didn’t think they could survive THAT. Brian means so much to AC/DC. I don’t know the inner workings, but if they have to go and do shows, I think Axl’s got the right voice.

I'm pretty much about the original band as much as possible. AC/DC, for me, growing up with Bon Scott [late AC/DC singer], was such an important band. And Brian, actually, really came in and [had] the hardest job in the world, and the band really went to the next level. Brian's a wonderful guy. I couldn't see life without Bon, but then I could never see life without Brian. Axl's in, he's singing, he's a great singer, and I think he's gonna do a great job. And I don't know if Brian will come back or not come back, but I actually think it's pretty cool. [...] Of all the people in the business that have tried to get the original Guns N' Roses back together, they could never get it back together," Nikki said. "They got a version of it back together, and you can see Axl looks happier. They're gonna go out and they're gonna play, and he's gonna do that AC/DC stuff. I don't know Axl, really, that well. I mean, I knew him a bit in the '80s when [Guns N' Roses] opened for Motley Crue. He was always sweet to me. He was always kind of shy and respectful. And I'm happy for him. He looks happy. He looks healthy. He missed doing what he's doing right now, and I'm sure having Slash and Duff by his side feels really good. So it's badass. Good for him. And good for Slash and Duff too. Good for the fans.

It's an odd situation. I hope Brian can get some respite for whatever his medical issue is. He's a lovely guy. There's just Angus in AC/DC now as far as original members. I hope Angus ends up holding up the amazing reputation and the name of AC/DC. It'd be horrible to see it end with people not turning up on stage or being very late. I hope it works out okay for everyone.

That's terrible. I've met Brian, and he's the sweetest guy on the planet. I mean, obviously, everybody's rootin' for Brian to get better. But in the meantime, while Brian's recovering, I couldn't think of a better choice. And Axl's such a huge fan. Bon Scott is, like, his guy. When me and Axl would always talk about our favorite musicians and singers and guitar players… you know, whatever… We both love Elton John and everything like that. Whenever we talk about all the bands and musicians, Bon Scott was his… As far as singers go, he was, like, 'That was my guy.' So, for Axl, I'm sure he's beyond honored that he could actually… you know, he's gonna sing with the guys. It's like Ozzy playing with The Beatles, 'cause of Ozzy's love for John Lennon, and they're gonna ask him to sit in for John Lennon's parts. You know what I mean? Ozzy would be beyond… he'd be speechless. So, yeah, Axl's gonna be beyond honored, and I think it's gonna be awesome, 'cause, I mean, Axl loves that stuff. So in the meantime, until Brian gets better, I couldn't think of a better way to do it.

There are several ways to look at that situation. There are AC/DC fans who are, like, 'You know what? I just wanna see them play for, like, the last eight, nine shows and then see what happens.' There are other people who are, like, 'Fuck that! I don't like the way they handled the whole Brian situation,' which I can totally see. However, none of us are behind the scenes. None of us know what's been going on. None of us know anything. And I learned that lesson with the Guns N' Roses thing. I mean, I'm talking about… I'm a huge Guns N' Roses fan. So when [the classic GN'R lineup] started to kind of come back together, I was, like, 'Meh.' But then, talking to some of them, I really saw the whole picture and was, like, 'Okay, I can get behind this.' So I don't know enough about what is going on behind the scenes [in the AC/DC camp]. I can certainly appreciate the fact that Angus wants to finish those shows. 'Cause here's the thing you've gotta understand: he's been doing gigs since he was 17 years old. He has been giving everything — and I mean everything he's fucking got — night after night after night after night for fucking fifty years. Who are we, who are we to decide when it's time for AC/DC to be done or not? Am I fucking right, or am I fucking right? Is it gonna be the same? No! Nothing's ever the same. I don't think it was the same after fucking Phil [Rudd, former AC/DC drummer] left. So it's never gonna be the same. You know what I'm saying? For me… The biggest bumout for me is that Malcolm won't be a part of those shows; that's the saddest part of that. I mean, I feel bad for Brian, as a singer, but the saddest part of that is that Malcolm won't be a part of those last eight shows, and he fucking should be. That man has written every fucking song they did. So that's me. That's me. I can go either way with it, but because I don't know a lot about it, I'm not gonna make any judgments.

[Axl] was always a fan even back in the day. They definitely had a liking for AC/DC. They covered some of their songs in the show. I’m a little surprised he’s doing it now, with all the [GNR] stuff going on, but more power to him.


Drowning Pool frontman Jasen Moreno:

I think that, you know, if he checks his ego — and I'm not trying to talk messy; I'm just saying if he doesn't try to incorporate too much of Axl into AC/DC — then I think it could be fun. I think he just has to remember why he's there — that he's there to front AC/DC and not to be Axl Rose. But I don't know that guy, so… I mean, I don't think it's a bad thing. Axl Rose is an icon in his own right. [He's got a] similar vocal register as well. And he's got a hellacious attitude, so I'm glad they got somebody that'll be able to fill the room and not some unknown hack.


Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta:

Yeah, I'll check it out. I really… I wanna say that I wish Brian Johnson the best. I've been going to the ear, nose and throat doctor since, like, 2010, and I'm due for another checkup. I think it's kind of every singer's worst fear — singer, screamer, broadcaster… anybody… voiceover talent… Anybody who's doing anything where their business and their livelihood is their voice, it's always in the back of your head. So I really hope he makes a full recovery, I hope he's okay, and I hope that the drama and the clickbait and the stuff that we're seeing online, I hope it's not as bad as what it seems. As far as Axl singing for AC/DC, it doesn't have the excitement as, like, if a Mark Tornillo or… somebody who is more of an underdog, I think, I would be more excited about. I don't know… Like, I would have liked to see a rags-to-riches type of story rather than a bunch of millionaires, you know, kind of doing AC/DC covers. I don't know... I respect Axl, I like his voice, I think his voice will be fine for AC/DC songs. I wanna check it out. But I'm not, like, jumping out of my seat. If you told me Mark from Accept got the gig, I would be losing my mind. I would be so freaking happy, 'cause I love those… I love the last three Accept records; they're fucking great! But I like an underdog story.


Rob Zombie:

That's a weird one. I feel bad for Brian Johnson. Being in a band for 38 years and still be the new guy is kind of odd but, you know, I'm not in AC/DC so I don't know the dynamic of it all, you know.


Scorpions guitarist Rudolf Schenker:

When I heard about this AC/DC thing, I felt very sorry about Brian, because Brian is a fantastic guy. I think he has to go into the comedian land, because, I mean, we spent a few nights until the morning — four, six o'clock at the Rihga Royal Hotel in New York — with Brian. It was fantastic. And when he talks, when he explains you something, he tells stories, it's a journey where you are so completely connected [to] what he is saying. So, in this case, I feel very sorry for him. I think he still even it was a hard time for him to take over from Bon Scott, but he did a fantastic job. I don't know. It feels for me a little bit like… You remember the time when Deep Purple's Ian Gillan became the singer of Black Sabbath? I'll tell you one thing: it's somehow strange, but in this situation, I think Axl will go a good job when he is in the right mood, because I think he can sing the stuff. But somehow, after seeing Brian singing so often with AC/DC, he always, even when he had a party night, he did a great job. And I feel very sorry, I feel very unhappy that Brian can't do the job. And, yeah, whether Axl can do it… I don't know. I heard always good things about appearances by Axl and Guns N' Roses. I met very often Slash and I always asked him, 'Hey, guys, you guys have to be together again.' And he said, 'Yeah. Then ask Axl.' So now they are playing together and then you're hearing this news that feels for me a little bit strange. Because, on one hand, it's great that the band is back again, Guns N' Roses. On the other hand, the singer already confirms to AC/DC. It's a little bit strange, in one way. For me, as a rock musician, as a guy who knows the history of Guns N' Roses and also the history of AC/DC especially… We had a very, very, very good relationship with AC/DC, because AC/DC was very complicated in handling with other bands. But we always were in a fantastic way. So I hope, yeah, that everything works well for both — for Guns N' Roses and also for AC/DC.


Roger Daltrey of The Who:

I mean I really feel badly for Brian. It must be heartbreaking for him after all the service he’s given that band over the years. I thought their farewell statement to the press and to Brian was fairly curt to say the least. I felt for him. That must have hurt. I’ve spoken to Brian. He’s got loads of other things he wants to do in his life. I think AC/DC will miss Brian much more than Brian will miss AC/DC. There you go. What do you expect from Australians? (laughs) ... And he’s such a lovely guy, Brian. I’ve known him for 40 odd years, more. ... I mean, go and see karaoke with Axl Rose? Give me a break. (Laughs).


Shinedown frontman Brent Smith:

I was a little confused by the whole situation until the other day, because Brian Johnson actually released a statement yesterday, where he had made a point about the fact that his hearing loss was something of really just… It's quite tragic on a lot of different levels. You know, he's been with AC/DC for 36 years. But in his statement… I think a lot of people, before Brian made his statement, people were just really angry at Angus, like, 'What are you doing?' And I understood that, because of the iconic voice that is Brian Johnson. But I didn't really know what was going on. I was saying this before, when it happened…. We don't really know what's going on; it's not like I have an open line of communication with the band AC/DC. And everybody was just making their own assumptions as to whether they thought this was B.S. or it was bogus, or what was going on. But from what I gathered from Brian Johnson's statement, he's okay with what they're doing by bringing Axl in to finish up the dates. And also, he thanked Cliff and he thanked Angus in the statement. And it basically came down to the fact that the doctors are, like… The hearing loss…. He can't perform in stadiums anymore right now. He can't deal with just the amount of noise that larger arenas and stadiums impact on his hearing. It doesn't mean that he can't go into the studio and perform, is what he said in the statement. So I think he's gonna continue to do albums with AC/DC, and hopefully, God willing, he may be able to return to the stage. I mean, he's 68 yeas old. But it's kind of one of those things where only time will tell. But, in answer to your question, what do I think about it? After looking and reading his statement, and seeing what they're doing by bringing Axl in to finish up the shows, now that I know both sides, and it looked as if Brian Johnson had given his blessing for Axl to come in and do this, I mean, more power to 'em, I guess.


Schmier of German thrashers Destruction:

Oh my God. I mean, it's a great promotional [tool]. But for real, I don't know why they're doing this, actually; it's weird. I mean, Axl Rose has a legacy of fucking up concerts and not being very reliable. I saw him on his worst, when he was so fat that he couldn't sing anymore. They played Rock In Rio three years ago. We [Destruction] were also on Rock In Rio — we played there — and I saw the Axl Rose performance on TV in Rio De Janeiro the day before we played, and it was so… Actually, it was after us, I think. It was on Sunday. We played on Saturday. It was fucking terrible, you know. And I think [since then] he [has] lost some weight and maybe he's stopped doing so many drugs, and he has a better voice now again; he's back to [being] a better singer. But singing AC/DC every night; this is a lot of energy for the vocals, you know. I don't think he's gonna be able to do that, actually. I mean, it would be a miracle if they don't have to cancel shows. Axl Rose definitely did some great albums with Guns N' Roses in the past, and he used to be a great singer. And maybe he's back. But I don't think he was a good choice. There would have been many, many other singers that would have fit much better, like the guy from Accept [Mark Tornillo] or [Marc] Storace from Krokus — guys that are also in the same age and in the same time that would fit much better. [Tornillo is] actually fantastic. He's also not the youngest anymore; he's, like, 60, I think. But he's still in great shape. And I think also Marc Storace from Krokus. He's in amazing shape. I had a show with him two years ago, and he was warming up backstage, and he was soo good. And I asked him how old he is, and he said he was, like… And that was, like, two years ago… He was 60 or 62 or something already. I think he's also old, but still so good. I think Storace would have been the perfect guy for AC/DC. But, okay, Axl Rose definitely has the better promotion.


Steel Panther frontman Michael Starr:

[it's] pretty fucking awesome, I think. I mean, who's gonna sound more like fucking Brian Johnson than Axl Rose? Think about it. They're, like, the same register, same key, same tone. And it's Axl. That's fucking pretty cool when you have two heavenly heavy metal bands joining forces. It's like two continents coming together for one big heavy metal baby. As long as he shows up. If he shows up, he goes on time, and he stops eating before the show, it should be great.


Mike Dean, bassist in Corrosion of Conformity:

AC/DC basically lost me about the time that Bon Scott died. Part of maybe two albums [featuring Brain Johnson] are pretty killer, and then I tolerate it because, come on, Malcolm Young, you know? But now you’re down Malcolm, so that’s kind of a hard blow to recover from, and then you want to add Axl? I mean, I understand you’ve got to finish the tour or whatever, and I can try to empthasise with the position. Don’t get me wrong, the last three Guns ‘n’ Roses records, I never really appreciated them at the time, but now they’re almost like a guilty pleasure. But you know, not all of the music that I enjoy is not necessarily created by people I would like to hang around with. *laughs*


Former Accept and U.D.O. singer Udo Dirkschneider:

To be honest, I really was thinking about this. If they really called me [and asked me], it can maybe happen that I'd say, 'Yes, I'll do this.' I was on tour a long time in America with Guns N' Roses [=with U.D.O.]. We will see what's coming up. [Laughs]


Former Sepultura and current Soulfly frontman Max Cavalera:

I don't know… It sucks, I think. I like AC/DC, man. They always were outlaws back in Australia. We used to watch 'Let There Be Rock', the movie, as kids in Brazil, and I remember [seeing an] AC/DC album [where they] had jail tattoos and shit. Bon Scott was badass, Brian Johnson was badass. But I don't think Axl really fits AC/DC. AC/DC is more, like, yeah, outlaws, and I don't think Axl is too much of an outlaw to fit in. But I don't know… It's not my band. I don't call the shots.


An anonymous member of AC/DC's touring company would also comment:

Oh well, the fun has begun and ain’t even been home a couple of days. Got a call from DC management telling me ‘when I go to Portugal next week for a little break before the European tour starts they have set up a meeting with the promotors and local council people in charge of the show on the 7th in Lisbon and could I attend.’ So I asked what is it all about, as you do, and after a little delay was told its about sorting out what times the show can run to at the latest before cut off, even though contracts and agreements have been sorted. I was told they will email all the details of what they now want and see if I can sort it. Not so much as predicting trouble, more like covering arses time as all contracts between DC and Rose have been hashed out but as you know if all goes tits up its years going through courts etc and it doesn’t help people, especially the genuine fans who are my concern, spending their dosh for a night out. I just wish they could have picked one of the other four singers who are not as famous or infamous or even followed through with the Steve Tyler talks! All four are from DC cover bands. I put Mr [Angry] Anderson up but… no reply. Don’t get me wrong, Axl can do the job and there will be more classic Bon Scott era songs but how can you sing them if you are not there or asleep? Oh well, as they say, onwards and upwards.



ALAN NIVEN AND HIS PROBLEMS WITH AXL PLAYING WITH SATANIC MESSAGES

In 2018, after the touring with AC/DC, Alan Niven would say he was disappointed with Axl for having done these shows because he would like for Axl to be "of the light":

Yeah, the Axl/DC I'm ambivalent about. The older I get, Brandon, the more I see our existence as binary, black and white, male/female, good and bad, right and wrong, and I'm just not that comfortable that Axl will go and sing Highway To Hell because I don't think that is really who he is and I don't think that's really his soul and his spirit. I know why he's doing it, he's having fun and [?], but I think Axl has still got an awful lot to offer. He's a very smart and intelligent person and a very good writer and I would love for him to draw a line in the sand and say, "I am of the light." [...] but I've obviously heard that comment made many times before, and I have to laugh because to me it's like, "Okay, so if a band is visceral and they have an intelligence as well and actually make you think about some things, that's dangerous?" because that to me is GN'R, an incredibly visceral band with a really smart intelligence in it. Well, if that's dangerous, guys, that's dangerous. But the thought provocation I would hope brings people to being in the end positive and of the light, and not dumbass and of the darkness. What did Young say, "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness," and to me a great rock and roll band with a good spirit and a good heart is a lit candle. [...] Listen, when they're talking about AC/DC, I mean, first of all you have to distinguish and for me my affection for AC/DC is umbilically connected to Bon Scot because he had a wit about him, there was a sense of humor in what he did that I found appealing. The Young brothers on their own I don't find very appealing.


Later in the year he would elaborate and claim that AC/DC was "celebrating the devil":

I'm uncomfortable with Axl performing on a stage that has a giant pair of... devil horns on it; that he sings 'Highway to Hell,' which I'm not sure has the humor in it that it ought to have. I'm a great believer that you don't defend the devil. I believe that if you want negativity and you want nastiness in your life, that it's your responsibility to either invite it in your life or expel it from your life. I think there's a difference between celebrating the devil and aspiring to be a free spirit and challenging the evil over authoritarianism. And if it's just in play, it's stupid... And if it's not in play, then it's evil... Life is binary - either you're of the light, or of the dark. In the light, you can see what and who is beautiful... And in the dark, you're blind and you're lost..." [...] It really freaking disturbs me that there seems to be no shame or... an apology for the fact that the likes of Richard Ramirez found auditory stimulation in their song 'Night Stalker' [Richard Ramirez was a serial killer, rapist, and burglar responsible for over 15 brutal murders, rapes and attempted murders in Los Angeles during mid-'80s. He was nicknamed the "Night Stalker" and a fan of AC/DC, particularly the song "Night Prowler" off 1979's "Highway to Hell."] I mean - after that happens, and you're selling glow-in-the-dark devil horns at your gigs - I'm sorry, that makes you a dumbass Australian little hobgoblin. And you can quote me, and I know it's gonna piss a lot of people off, but when it comes to what really matters, you gotta stand or fall.


When the interviewer argued that AC/DC was just a fun band not meant to be taken seriously and whether Niven could describe a "satanic message" to the band:

I loved 'Down Payment Blues' [off 1978's 'Powerage'], I think that is worth the price of admission all the way around. But, I think if I found out I've written something like 'Night Stalker' and it was connected with an event that I've lived through in California - and I can palpably recall the fear that people had, especially women - I would have been mortified! And I wouldn't have put a pair of freaking, fucking devil horns on my stage, pardon my language. I don't think you defend the devil and I don't think you mess with it, and I think that if something unfortunate like that happens, then you should acknowledge it and say, 'Wow! We're mortified. That was never our intent, we were just being goofy. My god, I don't know what I'm gonna do in the future.' No, they just put another pair of devil horns on the stage, and that I found disconcerting and that's why I'm disconcerted that Axl runs under a pair of them.


Doug Goldstein would argue that it was hypocritical of Niven to chastise Axl for playing with AC/DC who used satanic imagery when Niven himself had dabbled with black magic [for more on this, see later chapter]:

There's a bit of, maybe Alan has found God, and that's great, I hope so. But there was a time where he was not that. And, you know, he had this fascination with going to New Orleans and black magic. And, you know, and I don't know. I mean, I hope that for Alan's sake, he has changed that. But it's slightly hypocritical to me, you know.


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:58 pm

APRIL 16, 2016
HEADLINING AT COACHELLA, FIRST NIGHT

[Playing Coachella] was just fuckin’ awesome.

________________________________
The first out of two headlining shows at Coachella took place on April 16, 2016.



Show poster
April 16, 2016



This show happened just hours after AC/DC had announced that Axl would join the band to finish their European tour [see previous chapter], and Angus Young would come onstage with GN'R to play Riff Raff and Whole Lotta Rosie. In 2018, Richard would talk about having jammed with Young many times, probably in connection with Young's shows with Guns N' Roses which would continue over the next years:

Dude, I got to jam with Angus Young. Nobody can say that. I've played with them many times, yeah. [...] All you're doing is supporting him, you know, you're supporting the song and him. He's a little bit of ball of energy, man, he's Angus Young, he's a force. [...] Yeah, it's incredible. I mean, the first time we played with him he came out in the suit. And, man, I'm looking at Duff and Slash and we're all looking, and Frank, and we're all looking at each other like, "Oh, my god, we're playing with Angus!"
 


Melissa and Josh backstage
April 16, 2016
Angus Young, Slash and Axl
April 16, 2016


Review in Fuse:

Hours after the surprising announcement that Axl Rose was now fronting AC/DC, the reunited GN’R proved to be worth the wait

Have you ever watched a rock star sit and sing for two-and-a-half hours? Does the thought of it exhaust you? That's what the Coachella crowd experienced during Guns N' Roses' headlining set at the festival in Indio, Calif. on Saturday night (April 16).

And yet, they still somehow managed to be riveting. Just a few weeks back, the iconic hard rock band—now consisting of Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan, minus Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler—played its first reunion show at Los Angeles' Troubadour, where Rose fractured a bone in his foot, rendering him unable to walk. To compensate, the 54-year-old borrowed the throne from Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl to sing from, never leaving his perch for a considerable amount of stage time.

On paper, it's a high-risk situation. As as lively collective with a lot to prove after an extended hiatus, Guns N' Roses faced astronomical odds. The crowd at Coachella's main stage wasn't teeming to the back as it was earlier in the day for Disclosure and Ice Cube. In fact, it mirrored the surprisingly low turnout for headliners LCD Soundsystem the night before, maybe reaching half-capacity—and served perhaps as a testament to the nostalgia booking that back-loaded the first two nights, with acts geared towards a more mature crowd.

But if anything, they showed how a night-ending performance should be done, even with limited resources. Rose remained seated for the entirety of the show, changing outfits throughout, somehow. They started just a few minutes late, much to the snide predictions based on past tardiness, and ripped into "It's So Easy," the first of a long line of hits.

Together, the group is unstoppable. Slash mercilessly shredded his guitar as he traded off solos with Rose; McKagan took the lead on "Attitude," relieving Rose of his vocal duties; Rose led their shattering cover of Wings' "Live and Let Die." The hits were plenty: "Sweet Child O' Mine," "Welcome to the Jungle" and ballad "This I Love," off 2008's Chinese Democracy, were in mint condition.

Oddly enough, in the few hours before the group took the Coachella stage, AC/DC announced that Rose would be joining them on tour as their lead vocalist for their upcoming tour, from May through June. Angus Young backed the claim by emerging to duet on "Whole Lotta Rosie” and “Riff Raff."

It doesn't really make sense. Together, Guns N' Roses is a white-hot force of nature; not even a foot injury slowed them down. To separate Rose from his home team, particularly when they're so clearly in sync (at least musically), seems like a grave misstep. The band is as fine as it's ever been, as evidenced by the merit of one of their first shows back together after being apart for so long. Not even a bum foot could keep the their energy from waning, and clearly, they have a lot more to give.


In 2018, Slash would talk about how the Coachella dates had happened:

It started out with... it started out like 5 shows, initially that’s what it was gonna be; 2 shows at Coachella and... [...] Yeah that was... we didn’t have a big long term thing going, we just... Axl and I got together and we talked, you know, we talked for a while, so... and we thought it would be cool to do these Coachella dates, because we got offered to do Coachella, to get back together and do Coachella, every year for years; and we obviously didn’t do it. So now that we were on good terms, it was like, it seemed like a good idea... so that was basically... that was the basic focus, was just to do those two shows, and a couple of warm-up shows, so we did the Troubadour, and a couple of shows, one show in Vegas, Mexico... and the Coachella gigs.


On of the jams the band introduced at Coachella was an instrumental version of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here and in 2019, Richard would highlight this as one of his favorite moments during the 2016-2018 touring:

There's a moment in the set where a Slash and I play a cover of Wish You Were Here, and the two of us just start. It's just the two of us at first and then everybody comes in, and it's completely different every night. And it's a real conversation between the two of us musically. I mean as a guitar player, getting to do that with Slash it's pretty awesome.


In 2019, Duff would talk about being nervous and how they had sped up the songs:

Fucking super-nervous! And it was the same with the Coachella shows [on April 16 and 23]. The first one, we played real fast, the whole set. But the second one we calmed down a little bit.


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:58 pm

APRIL 19 AND 20, 2016
TWO SHOWS AT FORO SOL IN MEXICO

The band then travelled to Mexico City, Mexico, for two shows at the Foro Sol, on April 19 and 20, with The Cult opening.



Show poster
April 19 and 20, 2016



Melissa
April 19, 2016
The audience
April 19, 2016


jumpin johesafat! This place is ridiculously massive! 2 sold out nights?! Can't wait to see my friend's in the Cult. So glad they are doing these shows with us
Facebook, April 19, 2016

Mexico City. Straight-up kick ass
Twitter, April 20, 2016

I I love you U Mexico!!! You all touched my heart tonight I love youI love youI love you... It was an honor and a privilege to play for such amazing fans... I felt the love and am humbled by it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!! #gnr #gunsnroses #gnfnr #love #touring #beautiful #grateful #insane #litaf #grinding #music #heart
Twitter, April 20, 2016



Melissa and Axl
April 20, 2016
Axl
April 20, 2016


Mexico City, you guys are fucking unbelievable! Thank you for an awesome couple of nights! RnFnR! iiii]; )'
Twitter, April 21, 2016

Mexico City night #2: overwhelming mi amigos!
Twitter, April 21, 2016

Mexico!!! ... Such amazing fans... I will never forget this!!! All my love
Twitter, April 21, 2016
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Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:59 pm

APRIL 23, 2016
HEADLINING AT COACHELLA, SECOND NIGHT

The second out of two headlining shows at Coachella took place on April 23, 2016. During the show, Axl dedicated the show to Prince who had passed away just a few days earlier. Duff, who was a huge Prince fan, would recollect hearing the news:

I was in Mexico City in my hotel and Axl called my room and said, ‘Put the TV on.’ The news was coming through that Prince had passed, and I wept.


Axl would also comment on Prince's death a few days later:

Very sad, a very sad thing. Big Prince fan.




Show poster
April 23, 2016



Slash and Duff
April 23, 2016
Richard
April 23, 2016

Talking about having played at Coachella:

The shows went really good, the crowd was amazing. It was really nice. And the second show... The first show was good, the second show was more fun. I don't know [why], the crowd was even more responsive.


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Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:59 pm

APRIL-JUNE, 2016
MORE SHOWS AND OPENERS ARE ADDED TO THE 'NITL' TOUR

Guns N’ Roses historic stadium tour just got even more massive as the band added second shows in several cities for their Not In This Lifetime Tour. Due to unprecedented demand, a second show has been added at MetLife Stadium on July 24th. The first show on July 23rd is sold out. Founder Axl Rose and former members, Slash and Duff McKagan, began the most celebrated music event of the past decade headlining both weekends at this year’s Coachella Music & Arts Festival bringing the tally in April to almost half a million fans served and counting. The Not In This Lifetime Tour, produced and promoted exclusively by Live Nation, will see the iconic band headline stadium dates throughout the U.S. and Canada starting in Detroit at Ford Field on Thursday, June 23rd and include previously announced shows in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Washington DC, Philadelphia and more. A full list of tour dates is below.

Nightrain official GN’R fan club members will be notified via email with an early presale opportunity for the new dates.

A Citi® cardmember pre-sale begins Tuesday, April 26th at 10:00 a.m. local time through Thursday, April 28th at 10:00 p.m. local time through Citi Private Pass®. For complete pre-sale details, visit www.citiprivatepass.com. Tickets for the general public go on sale beginning Friday, April 29th at Live Nation.

One Million fans and counting will be part of the most celebrated music event of the past few decades when the tour of the summer launches on June 23rd in Detroit, but Guns N’ Roses have begun their return in spectacular fashion beginning with the Troubadour in Los Angeles on April 1st for their first live performance in more than 20 years followed by back-to-back arena shows in Vegas filling the house to the rafters, then Coachella for two weekends (April 16th and April 23rd) including a trip south of the border for two sold out stadium shows in Mexico on April 19th & 20th. April has seen almost a half million fans alone in North America! Guns N’ Roses’ are Axl Rose, Duff McKagan (bass), Slash (lead guitar), Dizzy Reed (keyboard), Richard Fortus (rhythm guitar), Frank Ferrer (drums), and Melissa Reese (keyboard).


On May 18 it as announced that Lenny Kravitz and Alice In Chain would open for the band:

Two legends of rock music, Alice In Chains and Lenny Kravitz, are set to join Guns N' Roses on their historic "Not In This Lifetime" tour. Alice In Chains joins the tour from opening night, Thursday, June 23 in Detroit, Michigan at Ford Field and will perform through the tour's second Chicago date at Soldier Field on Sunday, July 3. Lenny Kravitz will then join the tour from Tuesday, July 19 starting at the first Boston, Massachusetts date at Foxboro Stadium and perform through the tour's second date at East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday, July 24.


Kravitz would comment on the tour:

I don't normally do gigs like this. But sometimes you've got to do things for the fun of it, for the experience. I'm looking forward to playing with them and celebrating them coming back together. [...] We're definitely going to jam and improvise and get loose, and treat it like a festival. Summertime always makes me think of festivals like the Isle of Wight, when Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix played. I love the summer, outdoor concert vibe, so we'll rock out and improvise and go deep and get psychedelic and out there. [...] I haven't seen Slash since the [Troubadour] gig, but I've texted with him. I'm sure something fun and off-the-cuff is bound to happen.


And on June 16, Chris Stapleton, Billy Talent, The Cult and Skrillex would also be announced as openers for the tour [Press Release/Blabbermouth, June 16, 2016].

Skrillex would talk about the unusual choice:

I've always been a polarizing artist, so I don't really pay attention to what anybody says. It's so strange because I grew up playing rock music and punk music, and I'm a forever-evolving artist. When I first started making electronic music after I left [Skrillex's former rock band] From First to Last, all my band's fans hated that. 'Where's the old Sonny?' When I started working with Jack Ü, the Skrillex fans were like, 'What's that?' [...] [Opening for GN'R] gave me a challenge to see what I could do under those circumstances. [...] As much as I want to say I was the biggest Guns N' Roses fan, I didn't know them as much as I did metal bands until the last couple years. My appreciation has been greater [more recently] just because of how life goes. You go in and out of different phases of what you listen to.


In 2018, Slash would talk about how the success of the first shows had snowballed into a complete tour:

And that went so well and everything just fell back (?). So we said we will do this US run that they were offering us and then everything just snowballed from there.

Originally, it was just to do those first couple of shows, and that was a gas. I missed being on a stage with Axl and Duff [McKagan]. I missed that combination. It whet the appetite to do more.


This is not entirely correct, the NITL tour was in planning and had been announced before the Coachella shows [see earlier chapter].


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 7:00 pm

APRIL 2016
DUFF'S SIDE PROJECT LEVEE WALKERS

On April 25, it was announced that Duff would form a new band, Levee Walkers, together with Mick McCready and Barrett Martin.




Martin, McCready, and Duff



Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan and Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready have joined forces with ex-Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin to form a new project called Levee Walkers.

The first two songs from Levee Walkers, titled "Freedom Song" and "Tears For The West", also feature Killing Joke singer Jaz Coleman. Jaz is just the first in a handful of select singers who will be putting words and voice to the music of the Levee Walkers.

According to Martin, Levee Walkers' collaboration with Coleman took seed several years ago at the Classic Rock Awards. "We have been listening to his music for decades," Martin wrote "We were seated at the same table and introduced by our fellow bandmate Duff McKagan, and we immediately hit it off with a night of memorable conversation, which is how great collaborations usually begin."

Martin added: "A Levee Walker, by the way, is a phantom that occasionally appears on the tops of levees in the deep American South, which is the mystical heartland of all American music. And like a levee walking phantom, this band will appear, disappear and reappear again, as the musical inspiration suits us."

McCready and Martin previously played together in Mad Season, the '90s supergroup also featuring late Alice In Chains vocalist Layne Staley. McKagan and Martin were also members of Walking Papers, which released its debut album in 2012.




Freedom Song/Tears for the West
April 22, 2016



In November 2017, the band would release a new two-single, All Things Fade Away and Madness [Blabbermouth, November 2, 2017].



All Things Fade Away/Madness
November 3, 2017


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 7:01 pm

MAY 2016
AXL TALKS ABOUT THE UPCOMING SHOWS WITH AC/DC

As par of promoting the upcoming AC/DC shows, Axl did interviews and promotional videos, something he would rarely do for Guns N' Roses. During these interviews Axl would talk about many different aspects of joining AC/DC.


REPLACING BRIAN JOHNSON

Talking about having met before:

We met very early, in early Guns N’ Roses, in the first couple of years at the Forum in LA. I met him [Angus] and Brian backstage.

It wasn’t in that police station?

No… well, that was the second time!


And how long he had been a fan of AC/DC:

Like about five minutes before that?! No, since I was a kid.


And how much of an influence it had had on Guns N' Roses:

Very much, it was a big influence of Izzy [Stradlin]’s and mine. And then it was something we had in common in meeting Slash. Slash’s girlfriend made him listen to AC/DC pretty much 24/7 – he didn’t really get to hang out with her unless he did!




Official band shot
2016



REPLACING BRIAN JOHNSON

Axl would be highly deferential about stepping into Brian Johnson's shoes and stress that all he wanted was to do right by the fans and band:

A lot of the Back In Black stuff is really challenging. I'm not here in any way out of any disrespect to Brian. I can't take anything away from his singing at all. He's a great singer and it's really challenging to sing it. I'm just trying to do it justice for the fans.

Back In Black' is the highest-selling rock album of all time, so it's, like, you'd be measured a lot singing. And there's nothing I can… I can't take anything away from Brian's singing. It is what it is. It's, like, he's one of the rock singers. And how many albums have they got? I have a couple. It's, like, I have a couple [laughs], and they have a stack.

It's a horrible thing [what happened to Brian]. And you hope that he gets better. I'm not dancing around about this, because it's not like, okay, somebody said they're gonna go do something else. It's because of an unfortunate circumstance. And that's something I'm very aware of.


About having talked to Johnson about replacing him:

No, I have not spoken with Brian, only because we haven’t spoken much about Brian. There hasn’t been any negative talk with the guys or anything, it’s just the time schedule of having to get things together for the shows, while also I had Guns N’ Roses commitments and then breaking the foot. The day I found out it was broken I left the hospital to rehearse. My only day off was the surgery day and the next day was back to rehearsals.



THE CHALLENGE OF SINGING AC/DC SONGS

Axl would also talk about not being sure it would work out:

For one, it was scheduling. Two, it's, like, just how they do things; I didn't know. Would it work? Would we get along? That kind of thing. And also just the material itself. I hadn't fully listened to certain things. I think in a car or whatever, you can sing part of 'Back In Black', but I never tried to sing the songs fully. I'd sing a little bit of 'Shoot To Thrill', but you always knew it was a really tough song to sing. And I never tried to do it professionally or learn the thing. So, yeah, it's a challenge, and I wanna do right by the band and the fans.

Which I had no idea, I mean, they play really loud, they have their way of working and you never know if you’re going to blend. But it started out pretty good and its gradually got better. I’m hoping to make it through the first show before I get fired!


And how difficult it is to sing AC/DC songs:

There’s a lot of challenges in the material – there’s all kind of different things that both singers do that make each song special. Each song’s kind of etched in stone in how it’s done.

Right now it’s ‘Hells Bells’ [=the favorite] because it’s the hardest song I’ve ever had to sing and it was the big challenge. So right now I have a lot of fun when I get it. [...] Well, let’s say in rehearsals [I've nailed it] yes, but I don’t know… you never know who’s gonna win ‘til the race is run. We’ll see!


Beta would later comment on Axl's using a vocal coach since the songs are so different to what he normally sings:

[...] he could never assume a post like that without having [rehearsed], because it's a different way of singing, it's a...[...] it's all different.



WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE EUROPEAN TOUR?

And talking about what would happen after the European shows:

There's makeup dates in the States, and if I don't get throw out before then, I'm looking forward to doing [them]. I think after that, it's about what they wanna do. I'm in if they want me in, and we'll sort it out, but right now that's getting ahead of ourselves with everything else that's on the table.



STATUS OF HIS FOOT INJURY

Axl would also give an update on his injury:

I think we're about halfway there. I feel good. I've only started walking on a little bit on it the last few days, and now I'm starting to put weight on the front. It's inconvenient, but it's also helped me focus on the singing in another way. Other people are, like, 'How do you do that sitting down?' And I'm, like, 'It's a lot easier than standing up.' But I feel like an idiot; I do. I mean, I've done Guns shows and I feel like a moron sitting there. But I have to ignore that and just get into the songs and do my best on the songs.

It’s getting better little by little – it’s about halfway there. I’m only now starting to put weight on the front and I haven’t been walking up until the last few days. [...] it is on the mend – I went and had x-rays two days ago and was on the phone with my doctor and we’re doing good.


And talk about the modified rock throne he would use for the AC/DC shows:

It is the same actual chair itself with a different base so I worked more with their stage set-up, ‘cos I just thought it was too high and grandiose and crazy whereas this kind of blends in. [...] A little more low key.



REHEARSING WITH AC/DC

There's no audience in their rehearsals and they're a freight train. I mean, they rehearse and the first day or [rehearsals], it's, like, 'See you at the end,' and the song starts, and then it's a freight train. The rehearsals… it's been really, really cool. It's like now I know the benefits of rehearsals for the first time in my life. [Laughs]


After the rehearsals, Axl would joke self-effacingly about he had done:

[The rehearsals are] awesome because they’re over!


And when asked how the rehearsals went:

It was good, it was good. That’s where you find out straight away if something’s going to…

How bad somebody sucks. [...] I [sucked], but they went, ‘You know what? Come back next week and try again’.


And talk about preparing for the shows:

There’s differences, but at the same time no, because I’ve been around these guys now for about a month, meeting everyone in the crew and seeing how the show is and watching shows – like a football player I’m watching tape, stuff like that, and doing a walk through today of things. So yes, there’s differences, but it’s just because it’s a different show and there’s different songs.


Axl would also say the rehearsals had made him learn the songs "little by little" and that there were no excuse if he screw up:

Little by little. There’s a lot of them that you didn’t realise that you somewhat instinctively know and then just every rehearsal – there’s been about 20 rehearsals, something like that. So that way, if I really screw up, they can really blame me for that, because I did have good rehearsals.


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Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 7:02 pm

MAY 7-JUNE 15, 2016
AXL TOURS WITH AC/DC IN EUROPE

AC/DC's European tour with Axl as the new singer, the first tour with a different singer than Brain Johnson since 1980, started in Lisbon, Portugal on May 7, 2015. The reviews were great.

Review by Mark Sutherland in Rolling Stone:

Axl Rose Triumphs at AC/DC Debut in Lisbon
Seated singer honors band's classic sound as 'Rock or Bust' tour resumes

AC/DC must be starting to think someone up there doesn’t like them. A catalogue of misfortune has beset this most enduring of hard-rock bands during the past two years. First, founding guitarist Malcolm Young stepped down from the band due to dementia. Then drummer Phil Rudd left in a haze of criminal charges. Most recently, singer Brian Johnson had to quit touring or face total hearing loss, while the band faced a backlash from fans unhappy at the manner of his departure and/or his superstar replacement: Axl Rose, singer of the newly reunited Guns N’ Roses, and a man who recently faced some adversity of his own in the form of a fractured foot.

Rose just doesn’t seem very AC/DC somehow. Like Johnson, the singer keeps a hat jammed to his head at all times, but there the similarities were expected to end.

Yet Rose actually seemed happy to play a different role here. From his opening greeting of “Nice to meet you!” – just five minutes later than billed – he was a deferential and pleasant presence between songs and an energized, brooding one during them. He remained seated throughout the main set, his leg still encased in a brace, but even his perch was more low-key than during the recent Guns N’ Roses shows: It resembled a humble office chair that had been jazzed up at the last minute with a few lumps of metal and some devil horns.

But while Rose’s body might be ailing, his voice remained in great shape. From the opening salvo of “Rock or Bust,” “Shoot to Thrill” and “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be,” it was clear that, musically at least, the GN’R man is a great fit for AC/DC.

True, he missed a couple of cues and on more recent material seemed unsure of whether to stick to his own trademark wail or give it more Johnson-esque rasp. But in the company of guitarists Angus and Stevie Young, bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Chris Slade – sounding as tight as any lineup on the planet – Rose still seemed to be reaping the rewards of what he has joked were his first-ever proper rehearsals.

Rose seemed particularly at home on Bon Scott-era classics such as “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” and “High Voltage” and happy to defer to Angus Young’s all-action, duckwalking showmanship. Once Rose is mobile again – and that can’t be far off, as he walked on and off the stage between encores – that dynamic may change, but for now, Young handled the heavy lifting, leaving Rose free to enjoy himself.

And enjoy himself he did, self-deprecatingly introducing “Shot Down in Flames” as “a song they wrote about my life story”; leading the chants of “Angus! Angus!”; changing the lyrics of “You Shook Me All Night Long” to “Knocking me out with those Portuguese thighs”; and gawping at the band’s enduring, if unimaginative props (a huge bell for “Hells Bells,” an even bigger inflatable woman for “Whole Lotta Rosie”).

After a spectacular closing version of “Let There Be Rock,” featuring Angus writhing around on a hydraulic platform as confetti bombs were blown around by the ever-stronger gusts from the waterfront, Rose returned to say goodbye to resounding cheers from the faithful.

And if the main set hadn’t already won over the crowd, the final volley of “Highway to Hell,” the rarely heard “Riff Raff” (a GN’R live staple, performed with Angus himself at Coachella, though Saturday was the first time AC/DC had played it live since ’96) and a cannon-and-pyro strewn “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” certainly did.


Review by Michael Hann in The Guardian:

AC/DC review – Axl Rose brings menace as rock legends pull off a triumph

5/5 stars

The Guns N’ Roses singer might have been confined to a ‘throne’, but he delivered a masterly first appearance fronting AC/DC


AC/DC couldn’t really have handled the departure of their singer Brian Johnson much worse – a curt statement on their website announcing he could no longer tour, owing to hearing loss, and their intention to continue with a stand-in – short of announcing a compulsory redundancy programme for all Florida-resident geordies with a penchant for caps. Their fanbase, normally unquestioningly loyal, reacted with unexpected irritation: refunds for upcoming shows were demanded (and given), and many – me included – questioned whether the band should continue at all.

When they announced that Johnson’s short-term replacement would be Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose – a man for whom reliability is not a byword – eyebrows were further raised. Given AC/DC’s legendary efficiency, and Rose’s equally legendary tardiness in taking the stage, it seemed as if it could be a case of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object. And then Rose broke a metatarsal, meaning he would be chairbound on stage. AC/DC, a band who care what people think of them rather less than anyone except, perhaps, Donald Trump, evidently decided in the wake of all these disasters that they needed to win people back. And so, for this first show with Rose, writers – the Guardian included – have been flown in to Portugal as the band attempt to prove they are still a worthwhile concern, even with guitarist Angus Young and bassist Cliff Williams the only remaining core members.

Rose’s arrival makes this show the first AC/DC gig in years – certainly since Johnson replaced the late Bon Scott in 1980 – at which no one knows exactly what to expect. Its triumph is that it does exactly what one would expect, but rather better than one had dared hope for. Rose being confined to his throne on castors – he looks for all the world like a hard-rock Davros – is a rare downside to his performance.

The triumph lies in the renditions of the songs AC/DC wrote and recorded when Scott was still alive. Whereas the Johnson-era material tended towards boozy bonhomie, Scott was often a malevolently misanthropic writer and singer, concealing a slightly terrifying rage behind apparent good humour. Rose, who is familiar with both malevolence and misanthropy, delivers those songs perfectly, giving them fresh menace. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap loses its cartoonish aspect, and becomes the bar-room chatter of a psychopath; he introduces Shot Down in Flames as “the story of my life” and convinces you it’s true. His voice, too, is brilliant: no matter how high, every note is hit, and sustained. And he keeps it up for two hours.

He seems more relaxed on the Scott songs, perhaps because of the manner of his replacing Johnson. Johnson’s songs are delivered just fine, but there’s a slight sense he’s being a little too reverent. He’s spoken of wanting to do justice to Johnson’s work, and maybe he’s concerned with not imprinting his own personality over the songs. That’s true, too, of his rapport with the crowd. Johnson was unfailingly good humoured – not much of an anecdote teller, but ready to rouse the rabble. Rose confines himself to a few softly spoken words between songs and a few all-but-inaudible thank yous afterwards. For this show, with this much at stake, you expect him to be the cheerleader for AC/DC, but he refuses to take the role.

Nevertheless, he compensates for the sometimes erratic sound – a fierce wind blowing off the Tagus following a day of horrendous rain bashes the music hither and thither – and perhaps even inadvertently outshines Young, who sounds a tiny bit approximate in the fiddly intro to Thunderstruck. For AC/DC Kremlinologists, though, the telling moments come with the incorporation of two songs from the 1978 album Powerage that had been out of live circulation for a long while – Rock’n’Roll Damnation and a thrillingly brutal Riff Raff. “I never shot nobody / Don’t even carry a gun,” Rose snarls, with complete conviction. “I ain’t done nothing wrong / Just having fun.”

Carry on like this, and those wondering whether AC/DC are still worth going to see this summer should have no worries: they, too, will be having fun.


Review by Fraser Lewry in Classic Rock:

AC/DC with Axl Rose: The First Review

Tonight in Lisbon, Axl Rose played his first show with AC/DC, and Classic Rock were there to make sense of it all. Was the choice of rock's most controversial frontman a schoolboy error?

Axl Rose is sitting. It’s not the Grohl throne borrowed for Coachella, more a La-Z-Boy Recliner with an elevated platform for his injured foot and a side table for drinks. Were it not for the lightning bolt adorning the underside of his medical boot you might think he was about to binge on House Of Cards rather than spend two hours fronting the world’s greatest rock’n’roll band, and it doesn’t look right. But that’s not all. He’s on time.

Then again, AC/DC are a band who’ve never pissed about. Back in 1980, after Bon Scott was pronounced dead on arrival at a South London hospital, the Young brothers briefly considered calling it quits before hiring his replacement, and just seven weeks later Brian Johnson was in the Bahamas recording Back In Black and working on his tan. The AC/DC machine did what the AC/DC machine does: it rolled on.

You wonder what modern social media would have made of a transition that, from this distance, seems to have been made with almost indecent haste. Accusations of greed and lack of respect would certainly have flown.

The very public apoplexy that’s greeted the arrival of Brian Johnson’s stand-in does offer some clues, although the situations are clearly different. Johnson is very much with us — although his departure has been handled undoubtedly badly — and the new guy isn’t a loveable geezer in a flat cap only familiar to those who saw Geordie play Electric Lady on Top Of The Pops in 1973, but Axl Rose. Axl fucking Rose.

It’s the guy with the bandana, shrieked the Twittersphere. The guy in the kilt. The guy with the corn-rows. The guy who turns up late and throws tantrums. The guy with the whiney voice. The guy who ruined Guns N’ Roses. That guy.

Then came the video. Angus, Axl and Cliff. Reluctantly, uncomfortably facing the camera, clearly operating in damage limitation mode, inviting fans to Lisbon. It’s excruciating viewing, but it’s the moment it all becomes real. One of the biggest bands this world has ever known are about to hit the stage fronted by the singer from one of the biggest bands this world has ever known. In an industry that thrives on hyperbole it’s genuinely historic, and no-one has any idea what to expect. It might be wretched. It might be electrifying. And 50,000 fans in Portugal are the first to find out.

“It’s turned into a beautiful sunny day suddenly,” says Axl Rose, the singer in AC/DC. “Nice to meet you!”

As introductions go it’s hardly Welcome To The Jungle, but he does have a point. For most of the day the wind has howled and the rain fallen sideways, and the back half of the Passeio Marítimo de Algés venue — a grass and concrete lot on the banks of the Tagus River, just west of Lisbon — has been turned into slurry. But the sun pokes through as a well-received set from Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown warms up the crowd, and by the time AC/DC hit the stage the audience has stopped huddling together for warmth like penguins at the Pole and are very apparently Ready To Rock.

And Axl? To use the parlance of TV talent shows, he nails the songs. From the opening Rock Or Bust it’s obvious he can “do” Beano. He follows it up with a searing Shoot To Thrill, before a swaggering, confident romp through Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be shows he can “do” Bon too. By the end of High Voltage his good foot is pumping up and down like a jackhammer as he flips the mic from one hand to another, and as Hells Bells climaxes he’s screaming so hard your fear his throat might explode through the top of his leather-hatted head. He even ad-libs, dropping “Portuguese thighs” into You Shook Me All Night Long. It’s an astonishing, tour-de-force performance, and he looks like he’s genuinely having fun.

AC/DC are sounding just like AC/DC. As they should. Cliff and Chris and Stevie provide the engine, Angus spins and pirouettes and duckwalks and does that curious shuffle and gurns like a man with a mouth full of rancid treacle, and everything comes together as it should. The only odd thing is how chatty Axl is. He introduces Back In Black with “You ready to turn it up? Here we go now!” and ends it with an insouciant “Woohoo! That was a fun one!” Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap is “a little ditty about how to take care of business.” Let There Be Rock? “We’re gonna get a little bit biblical on you.”

Axl’s also clearly spent recent weeks pummelling Angus for trivia with fanboy enthusiasm. He tells us that AC/DC are the world’s biggest exporter of devil horns. He reveals that early in their career, the band’s American record company hired a plane to fly past one of their outdoor shows trailing a banner reading, “Play Rock ‘N’ Roll Damnation,” because it was doing well at radio but wasn’t in their set. It’s at these moments that it feels most like a tribute show, with an excited fan thrust into the spotlight, but the stories are told with such obvious delight you can’t help but be charmed. And if the evening couldn’t get any more bewildering, a chant of “Axl! Axl!” rises from the crowd, but he corrects the unruly mob with a modest, “you mean Angus.” We even get surprises, with Riff Raff the unexpected meat in the traditional Highway To Hell/For Those About To Rock encore sandwich.

So what the hell is going on? Is this a new, humble Axl, about to unexpectedly breath life into an ageing band while working angles on his own redemption? On this showing, it really feels like it could work.

And he did it from a chair.


Tommy also got to see the show, or parts of it:

And the first show they did, I guess in Lisbon, my band guys and I where in Canada playing some crappy like bar club show or whatever, and we were doing our own thing, we're having a good time, but we were watching the bar and going, "Holy crap. Look at that, he's killing it!" It was great. It was a thrill.


Also Tom Mayhue would later speak about this show when he was later asked about an event in his career that stuck out:

I think probably recently I had one of those moments and it was when Axl went in to help out AC/DC and cover 23 shows for them. And it was the first show that we did in Lisbon, Portugal, there was about 80,000 people there. There were 1,100 press requests and a lot of the press were there to see Axl fail and he was more nervous than you know I'd ever seen him I think, just sheer fear. You know, it's a scary proposition to stand up in front of that many people and sing those songs. And a lot of people wanted to see him fail. I wanted to see him be successful. [...] It was pretty funny because he came out and they did the first song, Rock Or Bust, and he just absolutely killed it and it was just like... I was almost in tears just watching the guy because he was doing something that he really, really enjoyed doing. That brand, you don't want to do anything to hurt that brand, you know, that is just a legendary, legendary brand. And so he prepared himself and worked harder for that than I'd ever seen him work for anything that he ever wanted in his life. And he went out and he absolutely crushed it. And the press wrote really nice things about it and the fans were absolutely elated at seeing it because it was just epic. I mean, it was unbelievable. [...] Well, I mean, look, you've got Bon Scot, you've got Brian Johnson, those gentlemen have been there, you know, had been there from day one and starting in '73, so, you know, and we all grew up on AC/DC. Anybody that tells me they haven't heard an AC/DC song I would like to just hit him in the head with a pipe. And Axl as well. I mean, he grew up on all those songs and it was such a dream come true to be able to sing those songs in that band, was just unbelievable. [...] I would love to see that happen again one day.



Angus and Axl
May 7, 2016
Axl
May 7, 2016
Axl at Werchter, Belgium
May 16, 2016
Axl and Angus at Werchter, Belgium
May 16, 2016


By May 16, for the show in Vienna in Austria, Axl would be able to walk more freely on stage, although still wearing the cask.

People apparently liked how I was moving in [the chair], I never felt I was moving enough. But you do start to get used to it. I had to make myself get out of it for AC/DC. They didn’t tell me to but I made myself get out of that chair. Because you start feeling as Angus said "A little too comfy". It's like- It becomes a safety zone rather than get out there and face the people in another way.



Axl and Angus, Prague, Czech Republic
May 22, 2016
Axl, Prague, Czech Republic
May 22, 2016


The band would also compliment Axl's performances:

He's doing very well, and it's very good that… I mean, under the situation that we had, it was very good that he volunteered and said, 'Hey, if I can help, let me try.' So he's been very good. And he had to learn a lot of songs very quickly, and he's done a great job.

[Axl has] done a fabulous job. And he's almost out of his chair now. He's mobile, and he's enjoying himself. It's been really good.

His leg's repairing, so each show we've been doing he's been getting up and moving around a lot more. So it adds more to the show. [...] We were committed to finishing this tour, so that's been our main goal, and Axl helping us. I know he's very excited; he keeps saying, can he do more? But we don't really know at the end how we will [go from here]. But we wanna get this tour, which we were committed to doing, we wanna finish it.

The band energy is really up there. It's doing really well. We've thrown some different songs in, which is kind of always good [and] interesting; it changes it up for us and the audience. But the band is playing great. It's a good feeling up there right now.

With Axl, we've been able to mix up quite a few songs, do a few older ones and put them, which we haven't done in a number of years. We always used to kind of get a setlist, and that would be [it] for a tour. So now we've got a lot more adding and putting in different tracks, and the fun part is when we get there on the stage, and seeing it come to life in front of the audience and seeing the reaction.

Axl is doing a wonderful job and the majority opinion now is that the band were right to finish the Rock or Bust tour with him. Fans have the opportunity to go to the shows or not, it is entirely their choice or indeed their loss.

He's been really good. He prepares himself, ready to go. We sit and chew the fat before we get on, work out what songs we want to do. It's gotta be fun for him, and for us. In the beginning, he was confined [with a foot injury] to that chair he borrowed from Dave Grohl. But as soon as he could, he was out and moving.

[Axl]'s more in the Bon style – the rock & roll character. And he's got his own folksy humor. He's pretty quick with a quip. Axl has different vocal ranges. You can hear him one way in a Bon song. Then he can flip and do Brian, the higher register.

With Axl, we've been able to mix up quite a few songs with the older ones, and the fun part is, when we get there on the stage, seeing it come to life in front of the audience.


And Axl would mention that he had brought his vocal coach, likely Ron Anderson, with his for the tour because of the challenge to sing the AC/DC songs:

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



Axl and Angus, Leipzig, Germany
June 1, 2016
Axl, Leipzig, Germany
June 1, 2016


For the June 4 show in London, Duff and Slash would be in attendance.

THE BELL! @acdc and @axlrose London. Simply an epic experience!
Twitter, June 5, 2016

ACDC/Axl gig at Olympic Stadium was nothing short of awesome last night! Memorable evening to say the least! iiii]; )'
Twitter, June 5, 2016

Me and Slash and our ladies went over to London just to surprise Axl and to see the AC/DC thing at the new Olympic stadium. And it was amazing. We went for a Saturday, basically. We had to get back… There was a graduation and there were things going on, so I had to take the 9:00 a.m. flight out Sunday morning. But we got to see him do that thing with AC/DC, and it was magical. He was out of his chair; he was up and cruising around. He was kicking the boot; he was doing the kicks. And it was really great to see… I'd never seen him, I guess, play… see him sing. And I think it energized the band — they were pretty energized — and the crowd was into it. It was cool. I'm super stoked for him.

It's pretty radical. It's pretty radical.

[...] it was totally cool. I mean, that was like right at the very beginning [of the GN'R touring]. And it was really one of those things like, you know, that's a crazy ask, you know, for those guys, you know, to get asked that to be Axl on, to get that sort of thing from AC/DC and just say, "OK, I'm gonna do it," and then be faced with that sort of challenge. But he handled it great and he took off and went to go do it and Duff and I went to go see him play in London and I was just blown away. I was literally floored watching him do all that. I mean, he channeled Bon Scott on all the Bon Scott songs like nobody's business and there probably is nobody else that could have filled those shoes for that tour for AC/DC. And so it was really cool and, I mean, far be it for me to go, "I'm proud of you," but I was very proud of him.

And of course [Axl] was brilliant. Slash and I snuck out to the show in London, to surprise Axl, and it was so cool to watch. He was super-deferential to the band, he’d stand off to one side, and I was like: ‘Alright! Our dude’s killing it!”



Axl, Duff and Slash, backstage in London
June 5, 2016
Slash, Meeghan, Susan and Duff, backstage in London
June 5, 2016


Review of gig in London by Kevin Cooper in UK Music Reviews:

GIG REVIEW: AC/DC WITH AXL ROSE

The once new guy on the block is now the old guy as AC/DC played the first ever gig at London’s Olympic Stadium last night for a spectacular show which featured pyrotechnics, flames, fireworks, giant cannons and Axl Rose.

Rose’s arrival makes this show the first AC/DC gig in years, certainly since Brian Johnson replaced the late Bon Scott in 1980, at which no one knew exactly what to expect. But nearly 90,000 fans were curious enough to make the pilgrimage and they were pleasantly surprised.

Coming on stage through clouds of smoke, he was no longer confined to a chair which he had been consigned too after recently breaking a bone in his foot. Instead he wore a special boot which allowed him to move around freely as he rattled through opener, Rock Or Bust.

He was stepping in for Brian Johnson after the 68 year old was forced to pull out of the tour due to hearing problems after fronting the rock band for 36 years, and Rose did not disappoint. There were none of the tantrums and tears normally associated with the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses, just pure entertainment.

Axl Rose just nailed the songs. From Back In Black it was obvious that he can ‘do’ Johnno, but he follows it up with a searing Shoot To Thrill before a swaggering confident romp through Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be, showing that he can also ‘do’ Scott as well.

Other Scott numbers went down really well, as he belted out Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap and Shot Down In Flames. His voice was brilliant; no matter how high the note, he hit everyone and he kept it up for over two hours.

Songs that are rarely given an outing were included in the set list, such as Riff Raff, Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation and If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It), and as the night went on it was clear that Axl was having a ball delivering them. Cracking jokes throughout the set and before You Shook Me All Night Long, he quipped about his fellow band members that “now you know what the Buckingham Palace guards do in their free time”.

It helped that the set list is so well known by their loyal fans, that the whole concert becomes a huge karaoke party. There were mass singalongs to Thunderstruck and Hells Bells and when announcing Whole Lotta Rosie, there was a giant inflatable doll erected on stage.

But it was not all about Axle Rose. At 61 it seems that age has yet to affect guitarist Angus Young, who dressed in his trademark school uniform, jumping around the stage and performing his signature move, the duck walk. A particular highlight saw him perform an extended guitar solo at the end of Let There Be Rock, during which he was raised up in the air on a huge platform.

Flames shot up from the stage as the band wrapped up the show with Highway To Hell before the canons appeared for the finale of For Those About To Rock (We Salute You), as a short firework display brought the evening to an end.

There can be no replacing Brian Johnson, he will always be Mr AC/DC. But with Axl Rose as the stand in front man, AC/DC sounded like AC/DC should; absolutely brilliant.

As for the venue; well that is a whole different story.


On June 7, Axl would talk about dealing with the pressure:

Right now this is a very big undertaking for me. Not just- it's because a band's fans are like- I know how hard it is… Lots of bands don't want to open for us, they just don't want to. They don't want to deal with our fans. It is kind of the same with the AC/DC thing and AC/DC fans are very serious about their band. So that was kind of the biggest thing. Even if I sang the song right, it was finding whatever in you that's strong enough to deal with that energy of that crowd. I had no idea. I knew I could deal with mine, but that's like- that's still a lot of work, but it's also a comfort zone, a safety zone. So this was a big thing. Umm... I still got three shows to screw it all up.


The last show took place on June 16 in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Thank you Europe! Thank you 2 all the ACDC fans! 👍🏼⚡😎 Huge thanks 2 ACDC 4 allowing me 2 b part of their world!! See U in the US!🌎⚡🔜
Twitter, June 18, 2016

I miss singing ACDC!!😫😪⚡😀
Twitter, June 18, 2016


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36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC Empty Re: 36. JANUARY-JUNE 2016 - SLASH AND DUFF JOINS GUNS N' ROSES, TOMMY AND CHRIS LEAVES THE BAND, AXL JOINS AC/DC

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 16, 2023 7:04 pm

OTHER MUSICIANS' REACTIONS TO AXL'S PERFORMANCES WITH AC/DC

In contrast to the reactions when it was first revealed that Axl would replace Brian Johnson for the AC/DC shows, the reactions after the first leg of the tour were much more positive.

I think it's great. I think Axl being with AC/DC — best thing that can happen to both bands. I don't know how long it's gonna last, but I hear the shows have been great, and I hear both Axl and AC/DC have been getting along fairly decently. In fact, KISS took out AC/DC on their first tour. The bands we've given first tour have included AC/DC, Rush, Cheap Trick, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden… I mean, the list is long.

At first, I thought he was crazy, but then after seeing him do it - that guy's got a great voice! I've seen videos, I thought, 'How's he gonna get them Brian Johnson [something]?' He gets there! Everybody thought he's a whack job. I've never met him, but he seems to know what he wants to do and he's not afraid to say what he thinks.

@axlrose dude you sang for @acdc tonight hahahaha . Amazing and congratulations:)
Twitter, May 8, 2016

I saw [videos of some of the performances], and it sounded great. In this day and age, those opportunities are more viable; they're just more realistic to be able to do multiple things, and he's doing it on the biggest possible level. Realistically, he's singing in the two top-grossing rock and roll bands of all time — both of them! It's not gonna ever be any cooler than that. I don't think that many people really understand, especially guys that are really talented, how big of fanboys they can be. All the way down to [Jimmy] Page with that Roy Harper guy. Everybody's got their heroes, and we all feel not worthy. And when we're validating by them, it's just… you're twelve years old. And that's why just watching what Axl's been able to do in these last twelve months is just amazing to me. And it's all positive; there has not been one negative thing. And that's the way it should continue to go.

You know what? Seriously, him singing with AC/DC is cool as fuck, dude. That is so incredible and I couldn't be happier and there's no one better for that gig. So I think it's extremely cool, extremely kickass and rock'n'roll as hell, man. Really is.


Udo Dirkschneider, who had previously wanted the job [see previous chapter], would admit Axl was doing a great job:

I saw just one video clip from a festival in Portugal, and, yeah, it works. Everybody was a bit [unsure about it at first], but I think the sound is good. So I think it really works. But not forever. [...] Of course, a lot of people [are saying to me], 'Why aren't they asking you?' I said, 'I don't know. Ask AC/DC.' [Laughs] Nobody was asking me, nobody phoning, but I can live with that.


Disturbed's David Draiman:

I think [Axl has] already proven that it's not only been an amazing thing, but that he's certainly up to the task. You know, look, my heart goes out to Brian. Hearing loss is an incredibly frightening thing to deal with, and I can't even imagine what he must be going through. And I can't imagine the frustration that the guys in AC/DC, losing their brother of so many years, must be going through. Everybody is very quick to point fingers and try to make somebody the bad guy. I don't think there's a bad guy in this situation. I think that they all have to deal with this unfortunate scenario that's been thrust upon them. And you know what? Axl has the chops. He's been showing it. He's been killing it with Guns N' Roses vocally; he's been killing it with AC/DC vocally; and doing it from Dave Grohl's borrowed throne, for God's sake, which is not easy, technique-wise. To execute all of that vocally from a sitting position is incredibly difficult; it takes tremendous precision and technique. If I was wearing a hat, it would be off to [Axl], because he was worthy before this, but certainly since the reunion and since the shows that have happened of late that I have been able to enjoy and watch online, he's worthy of tremendous praise and tremendous respect.


Disturbed's Dan Donegan:

I agree that [Axl is] fully capable and he's fully talented and that. I think, from a fan perspective, I would have liked to have seen the smoke clear a little bit from the first initial news of Brian to let us digest the fact that he's no longer with the band. It just seemed really quick to have to not only accept that but then the band just immediately move on. I'm not knocking it — that's their opinion or their preference — but, I mean, it's like a marriage. If your wife dies and then immediately you're dating somebody next week, it's, like, 'Wait! Slow down for a minute. Let the kids digest the idea that they just lost their mother.' And it's that…. Like I said, coming as a fan, I would like to digest it a little bit more before I'm ready to accept somebody else jumping in that role. If they come through town and I get a chance to see it, I probably would go see it, 'cause I still think the band's talented, Axl's talented. But I would have preferred a little bit of downtime to digest the whole thing and accept that Brian was gone to begin with.


Alice In Chains' William DuVall :

Before anybody had even heard anything, the court of public opinion was very loud and resounding in their judgments… pre-judgments. And then [Axl] actually did his first shows [with AC/DC] and people started seeing things on YouTube or whatever, on videos, and most of them had to eat their words. And I was happy to see that a lot of the people were willing to say so in public, like, 'I was wrong.' You know what I mean? And [Axl] and I were joking about it. I was, like, 'Yeah, man, it was really cool to see you shut all these people up. It was really nice.' And I know a tiny bit about that.

But it's cool, man. I mean, look… At the end of the day, bands are just these fragile organisms, and I can understand… to some degree, I understand both sides of a position [on it]. But when you get something that just works, it works. And you look at somebody like Axl, it works; I mean, it just does, to me. I get it — it's not Brian Johnson, and neither one of them are Bon Scott, but in terms of vocal range and stuff and in terms of attitude, there are not many more people who can conjure the pissed-off quality that Axl Rose can, man. You know what I mean? He's working some stuff out in those songs that we all know in GN'R, and so it's only natural that when he's gonna get to be in his favorite band, AC/DC, he's not gonna mess around. He knows what the chatter's gonna be, and he's gonna do everything in his power to shut everybody the fuck up. So I just dug it from that perspective.

Again, from my own personal experience, it's very much a similar thing. It's, like, well, you can say what you want, man, but I'm coming at you — period, end of story. And I'll do it every night. And there's gonna be no stopping me. Period. So it's, like, I get it. And I liked seeing him walk that gauntlet and do it so well; it was awesome.


Former AC/DC drummer, Phil Rudd, was less complimentary:

If Angus wanted me to play then that is up to him... but I don't really want to play with Axl Rose... I don't really rate him.


But then he would change his mind after having seen clips of the performances:

I watched some clips the other day of Axl singing with the boys. I was surprised; it wasn’t too bad. I was quite surprised, I thought he did quite well and that’s not an easy gig, mate, it’s not an easy gig at all. AC/DC is a tough gig for everyone in the band. I saw Angus jamming with Guns N’ Roses as well.
Music Radar, January 30, 2017


Joel O’Keeffe, singer of Airbourne:

I think Axl Rose did a great job, sung all the songs really well, and put on a great show. He has Brian’s range and the Bon Scott’s unpredictability and charisma. It was Rock or Bust and it wasn’t bust.
My Global Mind, Oct. 17, 2016


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