With new dates announced in New York and an extended tour promised this year, can Guns N’ Roses fans be fooled again or is their patience running out?
So, the Axl Rose side show is set to play New York on May 15 and 17. Are you rushing out to get tickets or are you among the doubters who laugh at Guns N’ Roses fans who are let down again and again? Rose has taken what was a great rock and roll band and transformed it into the National Prank.
Always great for controversy, Rose has been stringing along fans and rock critics alike with promises of new material and tours for over a decade. The title of his band’s chronically pending album, Chinese Democracy, has now become a synonym for unrealized potential. The mere mention of it brings people to blows as the true believers defend their fatally flawed messiah in the face of increasing evidence that he’s nothing more than a sham. Choose your side: Axl v. Izzy, Slash, Duff and even the drug addled Steven Adler. Who held the soul of Guns N’ Roses? I know whose side I’m on.
And yet, I can’t help but fall victim to this never ending joke. Like Charlie Brown to Lucy’s football, I read every report on the “progress” of the album and wait impatiently for reviews of shows that are more likely than not going to suck. How can it not? The weakest link in what was an unstable chain throughout is now the driving force.
What gave Guns N’ Roses its fire was not the bloated production and pretentious lyrics and audacious video concepts, but the dirty, gritty rock and roll of a band near collapse. With Rose firmly in place as the sole creative authority, we can expect to see little room for the sloppy rock energy that made GNR awesome on Appetite for Destruction. Seriously, imagine how pristine and glossy an album that takes over a decade to produce is going to sound. Boston cranked out THREE albums in that time!
And so we wait. Will Axl actually show up for two dates in mid-May? Doubtful. Not for both shows, anyway. Chances are he’ll show up (very, very late) for the May 15 show and be disappointed with the set. After a day of rumors, the May 17 show will be cancelled and Rose will slide back into obscurity to concentrate on “finishing” the album—an album I’m betting never comes. This album is the only thing keeping Rose in the news. It’s the hope of this album that keeps his legacy from completely shattering. It can never live up to its potential and can only be the nail in Rose’s coffin. Remember, it’s better to remain silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove it true.
The last time we pissed off GNR fans was after the disastrous 2002 MTV Video Music Awards.