Classic GNR to re-unite for Download?
06 April 2006
According to Classic Rock magazine, a band insider has confirmed that - as previously rumoured - Rose did indeed approach Slash, Duff McCagan, Izzy Stradlin and Matt Sorum with a view to reuniting the 'classic' line-up for Guns N' Roses' shows at this year's Download Festival (on Sunday 11th June) and a more intimate gig at the Hammersmith Apollo (date to be confirmed). According to the source, both would be filmed and recorded for a live album and DVD to mark the 20th anniversary of the hard rock legends.
Allegedly, all four musicians - each offered gigantic sums of cash for the reuinon - were keen and (according to a statement issued by Rose's lawyer) Slash even visited his estranged singer's home last October to discuss it, marking the first time the pair have had direct contact for more than 10 years! Presumably this all happened around the time Rose and Slash were quoted by various media declaring their enduring love for oneanother.
Unfortunately, it seems that negotiations dissolved when an eagle-eyed lawyer acting on behalf of Slash & co spotted a clause in the small print that would transfer all royalty rights to the lucrative GNR back catalogue over to Axl upon agreement - something the singer has been trying to achieve for years.
Presumably, the plans for a reconciliation collapsed around the time Rose resumed his public berating of Slash last month, with typically astonishing outbursts like: "Slash is a consummate press, photo and media opportunist and manipulator who has publicly attempted to take credit for something that was not his to take." and that, during Slash's visit to Rose's home the guitarist had "called [Velvet Revolver bandmates] Scott Weiland a 'fraud', Duff McGagan 'spineless', claimed that he 'hates Matt Sorum'" and the big clanger: "In this ongoing war, contest or what anyone wants to call it that Slash has waged against me for the better part of 20 years, I have proven myself the stronger."
Fortunately Weiland was not swayed by Axl's tell tales and sprang enthusiastically into the fray, asking via the Velvet Revolver website: "Who's the fraud now, bitch? Get in the ring. Go to the gym, motherf**ker. Or if you prefer, get a new wig you fat, botox-faced, wig wearin' f**k!... Shame on you! How dare you call our bass player 'spineless'? We toured our album over a year and a half. How many shows have you played in the last ten years?"
As it stands, a classic GNR re-union for Download Festival in June is not looking overly promising, but the trouble with - and the majesty of - this truly unique band is that you just never know.