The world’s most dangerous rock band is getting back together. At this point they are confirmed for three shows (two in Las Vegas and Coachella Music Festival) with a larger tour looming. The band is said to be looking at 25 stadiums with a payout of $3 million per, about 3 times the going rate for big acts. If Guns N’ Roses truly puts together a reunion tour and does it right, they could tour for three years to large sell-out crowds, easily. The problem with this is how difficult it is for this band to do anything the right way.
The most obvious reason the reunion won’t happen is because it just won’t be the same. These dudes are old and reproducing the magic of the late eighties isn’t an option. Best case they should focus on long epic shows with lots of ballads. Essentially, study REO Speedwagon – they figured this out years ago. Another factor that didn’t make the list is based on which guitarist goes on tour. Whether it’s both Izzy Stradlin and Gilby Clarke, neither or just one of them, most likely they won’t be the story. For the music, having both would be wise, but wisdom and logic may not be priorities here.
Guns N’ Roses has always been a dominant and inconsistent band leaving a lot of doubt in their decisions. Here are 10 reasons why the Guns N’ Roses reunion will not happen:
Hey, I get it, there is a lot of money to be made and the reason many bands spend so much time on the road is to make money. In the case of Guns N’ Roses, two factors concerning the potential cash flow are, first, the band is asking for $3 million a show, and second, what if the fans aren’t as dedicated as initially thought? There would be nothing worse than the band playing half-filled stadiums and sticking the tenants with the bill. Also, most of the members are financially secure so it’s not like the pay day is a reason they have to continue if the waters get rough.
9. Axl Rose’s Voice
The debate over Axl Rose’s voice goes back to his debut. Some argue he’s never had a great “live” voice, others believe it to be as strong as ever and some insist it has gotten worse over time. However, the screeching chainsaw is always a reason of concern, not for fans, they understand lead singers not sounding their best live. No, the problem is Axl Rose. If his voice doesn’t meet his standards just about anything except the concert will go on. During the Use Your Illusion tour multiple microphones were thrown down due to vocal struggles.
8. Steven Adler
So far no one knows if Steven Adler is even in, has been asked to participate, or is able to be part of the Guns N’ Roses reunion. The Celebrity Rehab star has potential to be unstable, especially if he goes on the road for a long period of time. Adler would also have to learn a lot of new music. He was only part of the Appetite For Destruction album and not the Use Your Illusion albums so there’s that. Also, some buzz has the band bringing two drummers along, both Adler and Matt Sorum; the latter was the drummer for the subsequent albums after Adler was dismissed by the band. Let’s not forget – Adler was fired from Guns N’ Roses for drugs – exactly how does that even happen?
7. The Fans
Rock fans can be a fickle group and if one thing isn’t just right, they can turn fast. How important is it that the classic lineup of Axl, Slash, Duff, Izzy and Steven are there? What about the members from the Use Your Illusion albums? What if Axl refuses to start any show before 2 a.m.? By the way, the last one is probably a certainty. The point is that if the fans don’t like what they are seeing they are not going to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on tickets. Oh, and don’t forget the set list. Imagine Axl wanting to play the “Trilogy” back to back to back. That would irritate the most loyal of fans.
6. Chinese Democracy
We know Slash and Duff McKagan are in. Allegedly we have also heard that the band will play music from the Chinese Democracy album. If the band sells out stadiums it is not on the strength of Chinese Democracy. Now Rose is asking (or forcing) Slash and Duff to play Guns music from a different era? Sounds like a lot to ask. Maybe Slash and Duff should play some Velvet Revolver tunes? Would be a nice tribute, of course I can’t imagine Axl signing up to sing songs from the “other” band. For the reunited lineup to have any chance, Rose is going to have to pick his Chinese Democracy offerings very carefully.
5. Band Implosion
So Axl and Slash have kissed and made up and Duff seems pretty easy going, but… How long will this last? Eventually there has to be a disagreement. What happens then? Will Slash start thinking, “Yeah, Axl is still a dick?” Most of the band is pushing 50, how much will they put up with, especially if it starts impacting their fan base? It is one thing to be the twenty-something, unpredictable “most dangerous” band and another to be veteran musicians just not caring about your audience. Hopefully at this point all the members understand this, but hey, this is Guns N’ Roses, not Bon Jovi.
4. Axl vs. Slash Power Struggle
Lead singers and lead guitarists having a love/hate relationship is nothing new, in fact it usually makes the music better. Some examples are Robert Plant/Jimmy Page, Steven Tyler /Joe Perry, David Lee Roth/Eddie Van Halen and of course, Axl Rose/Slash. Each has their die-hard fans and there is no doubt each has their own style of music, with Slash leaning toward blues while Rose often finds himself in the Elton John genre of big rock. One thing has been proven, when the two of them do get together, magic is made and the fans are the winners. Oh, and now Axl wears big hats, so there’s that competition too.
3. Duff McKagan Tell-All Book
When not playing in bands, McKagan has carved out a nice career as a writer. He has penned two books and has a third on the way. He also writes for several online outlets and doesn’t hold back on his opinions. McKagan wrote about his time with the band in his first book It’s So Easy (And Other Lies), but overall went pretty easy on his bandmates. What if he decides to write about the reunion and digs up dirt on the other members? What if Axl has incriminating photos of Slash and that is why he has agreed to reunite? That would be a great book!
2. Axl Rose’s Paranoia
The mystery of Rose is part of his allure and some may even say charm. It also causes a lot of problems. It is well known that Rose has traveled with a psychiatrist and at times has had to be convinced to get on stage. There appears to be times when Rose believes everyone is out to get him. These problems go all the way back to when the band initially got signed, only Axl didn’t show up. Why? He thought someone stole his contact lenses so he wouldn’t be able to read the contract. This is not normal behavior and lends itself to unpredictable actions.
Regardless of the band, the money, the setlist or even the fans, it’s about the lawyers. Guns N’ Roses has never been easy, in fact it has always been hard. Just getting an album released took years of red tape and lawsuits and clarification before it could see the light of day. Now it’s more complicated because each member has his own revenue stream outside of Guns N’ Roses. Not only are they trying to do what’s right for the fans, they want to protect their own brand and own legions of fans they have earned with their new bands and ventures.