Guns N' Roses announce dates for first U.S. tour in five years; are you Team Axl or Team Slash?


Image Credit: Paul Warner/

Remember back in 2008 when Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy finally stopped being a punchline to jokes about waiting endlessly for unfinished albums (the ball remains in your court, Dr. Dre) and actually became an album you could purchase in a store?

You don’t, do you? Is that because it was a mostly-forgettable collection of tepid hard rock tunes unworthy of the legacy of the band who gave the world Appetite for Destruction? Or is it because you never got the opportunity to catch the band on an American tour so that songs like “Better” and “Madagascar” could live and breathe in an arena near you?

Axl Rose is counting on the latter being the truth; he’s taking his band on the road in the United States for the first time in five years, and the trek begins October 28 in Orlando and will hit more than 30 cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Denver.

In addition to Rose, the group currently features Tommy Stinson (formerly of the Replacements and also of a phenomenal just-released solo album called One Man Mutiny), DJ Ashba (not actually a DJ but a guitar player who is also in Nikki Sixx’s band), Dizzy Reed (the second-longest-tenured member, as joined the group just before the recording of 1991’s Use Your Illusion I & II), Richard Fortus (previously of Richard Butler’s post-Psychedelic Furs band Love Spit Love), Bumblefoot (filling in the “silly-named guitarist” post vacated by Buckethead a few years back), Chris Pitman (do they really need a second keyboardist?), and Frank Ferrer (another survivor of Love Spit Love).

Among hard rock aficionados, some don’t think Guns N’ Roses should be allowed to be called Guns N’ Roses unless both Rose and Slash are involved. But even despite the goofiness surrounding Rose’s legacy (the epic wait for Chinese Democracy, the weight fluctuations, the arrests, the hair), isn’t he less tarnished than Slash at the moment?

Rose’s band of goofballs will be headlining the Rock in Rio Festival in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in a few weeks, in front of 75,000 people. Last we checked, Slash was helping open up the Charlie Sheen roast and recording a new version of “Paradise City” with Fergie. Looking at that stat sheet, isn’t Rose the clear victor, even though he’s still sort of a tool?

Look, ultimately Slash has more dignity and integrity, and some of those Velvet Revolver songs are pretty good (and that one Slash’s Snakepit album is pretty boss too). But no matter how many collaborators Slash finds or cool events he shows up to, the gigantic aura of Guns N’ Roses still belongs to Axl.

And because of that, the staggering number of people who keep Appetite for Destruction in the Billboard charts every week will tend to gravitate toward the singer. It’s a lot like the divide between Megadeth and Metallica. In a lot of ways, Metallica are not as good as Megadeth. But Metallica is just better, you know?

Will you be buying tickets for the Guns N’ Roses show coming to your city? Does the prospect of Rose singing “Welcome to the Jungle” and “November Rain” trump all other criteria? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Slash talks about his tour with Ozzy, the search for Velvet Revolver’s singer, and Axl’s latest accolade
Guns ‘n’ Roses to release new album, promise it won’t take nine million years

Comments (78 total) Add your comment
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  • JMJ

    I’ve seen GnR2.0 a few times over the past few years and they put on a great show, so yes, I will be going again if they come to Toronto. Say what you want about Axl, but the man knows how to put on a show.

    • Color Me Impressed

      F*ck Axl. Hes an arrogant prima-donna who hasn’t been relevant since Appetite. However, I would absolutely love to see GNR live for one reason: Tommy f*cking Stinson!!!! The man helped form The Replacements–one of the greatest alternative bands of all time & the inspiration for my message-board namesake–when he was only 14 years old! Also, he’s simply an amazing bassist and he’s become a fantastic songwriter himself as of late. Plus: he “hates music…its got too many notes!”

  • Mike

    I was at the Philly show in 2002 where Axl didn’t show up. I’d never take that chance again!

    • Meeeee

      This. Axl can announce whatever he wants. The real variable here is if he actually shows up and puts on a complete show. I love GnR (more v1 than v2), and I go to literally dozens of concerts a year, but I’d never spend money on a ticket to see GnR v2, as the risk of Axl not showing is too great for me to gamble on that.

      • BlueGreen

        He was totally reliable on the last US tour and the international tour. I saw them 3 times in 2008. Totally worth it.

  • Ken

    Why did the Chinese Democracy songs suck so much? NO SLASH.

    • fly

      Chinese Democracy debuted #1 on the charts in thirteen countries. It reached 3 times Platinum in Canada, Platinum in Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, UK, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa. The album is Gold in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Holland, Sweden, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Brazil and Colombia. In the U.S., the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on February 3, 2009.

      I don’t know about you, but to me, this is pretty good.
      Just because it doesn’t live up to Appetite doesn’t mean it sucks. Thats the problem with people in America. They want it to be Appetite or for Slash to be there, It’s time to move on people. If you do, you might realize that this band is pretty dang good.

      GNR tours more than most other bands and plays more shows than most others. The Illusions Tour I believe ranks as the longest tour in Rock. And for all the shows that Axl has done over the years, it’s a rare thing that one is cancelled…but for some reason, when one does get cancelled, hes on the front page. Why don’t you hear about other bands cancellations throughout the year?? Because Axl is a bigger deal than most.

      And remember people, GNR will come on stage late in the night (anywhere from 10:30-11:30 on average) after the opening band(s) at 9pm. They have done it since they started way back in the day. It’s just who they are. But when they do, they will put on a hell of a show.

      • Sonja

        I don’t know where you got your intel but the last GNR album to go gold in Austria was Greatest Hits which was certified gold status on April 6, 2004. Before that the last certification was Appetite for Destruction reaching Platinum with a re-release April 15 1998. That is according to the IFPI who issues the certifications btw.

      • fly

        It was in the press release…

      • melanie

        Fly i so believe a lot of what you have said about GNR,i seen them in nashville, dec 2011,and oh my gosh i fell so in love with him and his band, yes he was some late getting on stage but i tell you one thing they gave us more hours of them playing then any concert ive been to,and i do wish people would say off axl backs, i have read alot of thing on axl and half i dont know to believe but i do say it seems like his life starting out wasnt so great,so yes i love the man,and i wish people would leave him be,he is great in my eyes i dont know him but i want put him down until he as done something personal to me,GREAT SINGER AXL LOVED YOUR SHOW

  • Phil

    Ok Kyle so after reading your Nirvana post & this post…clearly you are a rock fan, and explains why all of your posts on NON-rock/current top 40 are littered with misinformation. As someone who is 33, and had to hear GNR on the radio and Mtv all the time as a kid, I’m glad Axl’s era has ended. Most rock bands today, that are up & comers are coverbands, and showcase very little new material, and many people that were fans in the 80’s are older now, and the entire rock scene suffers because of the recession. Rockers wanna party hard all night & sleep all day…they can’t do that unless they don’t have jobs..and if they don’t have jobs they certainly can’t afford booze & drugs to party all night. The modern era of rock bands is over, and with the release of Chinese Democracy, Axl also ended his reltaionship with alot of old GNR fans. This post may sound bitter, but its just me speaking off the top of my head.

    • Meeeee


  • WhoKnew?

    I really liked this article and agreed with you 100% until I got to the end. Metallica is better that Megadeth? Seriously? That sentence really made me shudder in horror!

  • idviceroy

    Team Slash. There can be a million reasons why celebrities (rock, pop, move, whatever) go off the deep end, Slash and Axl together defined rock in the late 80’s, early 90’s. W/out one another, Slash is still a guitar god, but Axl is the Hugh Hefner of the music scene.

  • PB

    Wha? Axl Blows has become a punchline. A joke. He ruined what could have been one of the best bands of any generation and then parades around for 10 years trying to get anyone with talent help him on a crappy album. I think it’s obvious to most that Slash, Izzy, Duff and the like were the band. It was a collaborative effort along with Axl. But, Axl is just plain sad now……SAD.

    • The Other Anne

      Agreed. I loved Guns N Roses-so much so I declared that they would rival The Rolling Stones if they could keep it between the ditches (young love). Unfortunately, egos and abuse ended Guns N Roses. I saw the original band in 91-great show. Not interested if no Slash, Izzy or Duff (and yes, “GNR” is coming to my town and no, I will not attend).

    • benlinus

      QFT, all Velvet Revolvers needs is a phenomenal frontman and no one will bother with Axl and Friends For Hire ( Guns and Roses legally speaking). It’s too bad GnR didn’t go the route of Pink Floyd and allowed the band to keep the name as opposed to the flake that’s holding the reigns now.

      • AG

        VR had Weiland, a great frontman in many people’s eyes, and what you said did not hold true.

      • fly

        Flakes??? Take a look at their resumes. Obviously your someone who can’t get out of the past and move on.

      • benlinus

        @AG, Wiland was nothing more then a Layne Staley clone and a bad one at that.

        @Fly, No offence but how many bands have come out in the past 5 years that people are going to give a crap about in the next 5 years. The recording industry doesn’t nurture their talent for the long haul and that has lead to this past decade of crap.

    • Lauren

      You all are wrong! Yes it sucks that the original members are gone, but the problem is he can’t sing for crap anymore.His new band sucks too.

      • Lauren

        And we all never said that Chinese Democracy has to live up to Appetite. He just can’t sing anymore.

      • Lauren

        Almost the whole world wants the original GNR back. He would make so much money reuniting with the band. It would make rock n roll history. Itd be way bigger than Zeppelin getting bck together. Axl’s new band is not even as great as the original. Their new songs aren’t worth anything. He blew his voice his voice along time ago. And so went his albums and songs. The best thing would for him to make a comeback album. But that will never happen. because izzy used to help write most. *”I KNOW THERE ARE STILL GNR FANS OUT THERE. SO PLEASE SIGN MY WAVER TO GET THEM BACK TOGETHER. WE UNITED STATES MADE AXL ROSE AND THE MEMBERS. IM 14 AND knowing that all never get to see the original members with Axl Rose devastates me. Im a huge 80’s rocker. But guns n roses beats other bands out there i think.*” And thanks for nothing axl you can go everywhere but by Arizona? wooowwww. GNR’s last concert EVER IS WHEN MUSIC DIED (1993)…….

      • fly

        Why would Axl reunite with Slash when it’s obvious that they don’t get along?? Just to please selfish people like you? Or maybe for money? Axl would never do this, and it’s part of the reason why I respect the guy so much. He marches to the beat of his own drum and he would never prostitute himself for fortune, but also shame! But we all know Slash does this all the time. Slash would get back together in the minute just for the money, or to be in the spotlight again. Everywhere you look, he’s doing interviews or playing with Cyprus Hill, Fergie, etc. He’s a media whore. Axl isn’t. Axl does what he believes in and doesn’t do things because others want him to.

  • Templar

    IMO Axl is a terrific songwriter but has worn out his cred as a performer. You can’t just grab a bunch of former members of other bands, throw them in the mix and call it GNR. It will resemble the original band in name only.

  • UGH

    Who wants to pay that kind of money to see a cover band?

  • Curious Khan

    If the REAL Guns N Roses goes on tour I would go in a heart beat!

  • Amanda

    If you were a real GNR fan, you wouldn’t choose and just see them both when the opportunities arise. Axl puts on a good show with the new band. I saw them in Detroit in 2002 and it was great. I support all the GNR members in their new projects. They’re a talented bunch of guys.

  • AG

    First off, Chinese Democracy is a great record that fits perfectly alongside the UYIs. 2nd, you don’t have to pick a team, you can support both. This isn’t a competition, this is music. So, it’s a completely stupid question to even ask.

    • boocat

      You have your taste in your mouth….GET REAL. Banc sucks…always has…always will…

      • AG

        I would respond properly, but that was completely incoherent, so I can’t.

  • keith marus

    Saw them last time they did tour and have to admit the classic tracks were note perfect. Not really looking forward to hearing the Chinese Democracy songs though – not a very good album.
    But I will go because Mr. Brownstone will put me on the Nightrain because It’s So Easy if I don’t go.

  • Christopher

    This band should be referred to as “The Axl Rose Project”. GNR died long ago. I’ll stick with Slash.

  • Anth

    Chinese Democracy is actually very solid–I prefer it to either of the Use Your Illusions. Not sure if I’d see GNR live though…even in recent years it seems to be a pretty wild, erratic show so it’s a risk vs. reward sort of thing. Axl is eccentric and a shadow of his former self for sure but personally Slash’s legacy is way more tarnished for me (though Velvet Revolver had its moments–but I listened more because of Weiland). I kinda prefer Buckethead anyway.

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