Guns N' Roses
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|Guns N' Roses|
Guns N' Roses during the Chinese Democracy Tour 2010
|Also known as||G N' R, GnR|
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, USA|
|Genres||Hard rock, heavy metal|
|Labels||Geffen, UZI Suicide|
|Associated acts||Hollywood Rose, L.A. Guns, Neurotic Outsiders, Praxis, Road Crew, Slash's Snakepit, Velvet Revolver|
|Axl Rose |
Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal
|See list of Guns N' Roses band members|
The band has sold more than 90 million albums worldwide, including shipments of 43.5 million in the United States. The band's 1987 major label debut album, Appetite for Destruction, has sold in excess of 28 million copies worldwide and reached No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 and is also the highest selling debut album of all time both in the US and worldwide. In addition, the album charted three Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including "Sweet Child o' Mine" which reached No. 1. The 1991 albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II debuted on the two highest spots on the Billboard 200 and have sold a combined 14 million copies in the United States alone and 35 million worldwide. After over a decade of work and many lineup changes, the band released their follow-up album, Chinese Democracy, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum in the United States.
The current lineup comprises lead vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarists Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and DJ Ashba, rhythm guitarist Richard Fortus, bassist Tommy Stinson, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman and drummer Frank Ferrer.
Guns N' Roses' mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s years have been described by individuals in the music industry as the period in which "they brought forth a hedonistic rebelliousness and revived the punk attitude-driven hard rock scene, reminiscent of the early Rolling Stones."
 Formation (1985–1987)The group was formed in early 1985 by Hollywood Rose members Axl Rose (vocals) Izzy Stradlin (rhythm guitar), L.A. Guns members Tracii Guns (lead guitar), Ole Beich (bass) and Rob Gardner (drums). The new band created its name by combining two of the group members' names. After only a short time (several reports indicate only 2 or 3 gigs were played with Guns, Beich & Gardner), bassist Ole Beich was replaced by Duff McKagan while Tracii Guns' lack of attendance at rehearsals led to his replacement by Slash.
Slash had played with McKagan in Road Crew and with Stradlin during a short stint in Hollywood Rose. The new line-up came together quickly, but shortly before embarking on a short, rather disorganized tour from Sacramento, California, to Duff's home town of Seattle, Washington, drummer Rob Gardner quit and was replaced by Slash's close friend Steven Adler. The band, which continued to be called Guns N' Roses even after the departure of Tracii Guns, established its first stable line up on the so-called "Hell Tour". In an interview, Slash stated, "That [trip to Seattle] is really what cemented the band" and established its chemistry.
 Live ?!*@ Like a SuicideGeffen Records released an EP in late 1986 to keep the interest in the band alive while the band withdrew from the club scene to work in the studio. The four song EP Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide came out on the ostensibly independent "Uzi Suicide Records" label (which was actually a Geffen subsidiary). Only 10,000 vinyl copies of the EP were produced. On Halloween night in 1986 Guns N' Roses performed at UCLA's Ackerman Ballroom as the opening act to Thelonious Monster, The Dickies, and the headlining Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The record was billed as a live recording, although Rose would reveal years later, that it was simulated. The EP consisted of four songs from the band's demo tapes with overdubbed crowd noise. It contained covers of Rose Tattoo's "Nice Boys" and Aerosmith's "Mama Kin", along with two original compositions: the punk anthem "Reckless Life" and the classic rock inspired "Move to the City", both of which were co-written by Hollywood Rose's founding member Chris Weber.
The original vinyl Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide EP has become a valuable and sought after collector's item, even though the tracks were re-issued two years later on the G N' R Lies album.
 Appetite for Destruction, G N' R Lies (1987–1989)The band's first album, Appetite for Destruction was released on July 21, 1987. The album underwent an artwork change after the original Robert Williams cover design (a surrealist scene in which a dagger-toothed monster vengefully attacks a robot rapist) spawned the album. The revised cover was a design by Bill White, a tattoo artist, who had originally designed the artwork for a tattoo Rose had acquired the previous year. The artwork featured each of the five band members' skulls layered on a cross. Rose later insisted that the Gold and Platinum plaques issued by the RIAA be set using the original cover art, which can be found in the booklet of the CD release. In the US, "Welcome to the Jungle" was issued as its first single, with an accompanying music video. Initially, the album and single lingered for almost a year without performing well, but when Geffen Records founder David Geffen was asked to lend support to the band, he obliged by personally convincing MTV executives to play "Welcome to the Jungle" during their afterhours rotation. Even though the video was initially only played one time at 4 a.m. on a Sunday, heavy metal and hard rock fans took notice and soon began requesting the video and song en masse. In Japan, an entire EP entitled Live from the Jungle was issued, containing the album version of "Sweet Child o' Mine" along with a selection of numerous Marquee Club recordings.
"Welcome to the Jungle" was also featured in the 1988 Clint Eastwood movie The Dead Pool and members of the band had a cameo appearance in the film.
"Sweet Child O' Mine" was the album's second US single co-written by Axl Rose as a poem for his girlfriend, Erin Everly. Due to the growing grassroots success of the band and the cross-gender appeal of the tune, the song and its accompanying music video received heavy airplay on both radio and MTV, becoming a smash hit during the summer of 1988 and reaching the top of the charts in the US. Slash stated on VH1's 100 Greatest songs of the 80s, "It was actually my least favorite song we ever wrote...I hate it, but it turns out to be our greatest song ever". "Welcome to the Jungle" was then re-issued as a single, with new pressings of records and tapes and new artwork. It was a successful re-release, as the single reached No. 7 in the US. The UK re-release was backed with an acoustic version of "You're Crazy", recorded much earlier than the one featured on the G N' R Lies album.
By the time "Paradise City" and its video reached the airwaves and peaked at No. 5 in the US, the band's touring success and fame had catapulted the album to No. 1 on the Billboard charts. "Welcome to the Jungle", "Sweet Child o' Mine" and "Paradise City" were all top ten singles in the US. To date, Appetite for Destruction has sold over 28 million copies worldwide. It has been certified as 18X Platinum in the U.S.
Guns N' Roses began opening shows for major acts, but as their fame began to take hold, a world tour in support of Appetite for Destruction was scheduled. The band traveled across the United States, and in spring 1988 were invited to the notorious Monsters of Rock Festival at Castle Donington in Leicestershire, England, where they shared the bill with groups like that country's own Iron Maiden and their own U.S.-based Kiss. At the start of the Guns N' Roses set, the capacity crowd of over 100,000 began jumping and surging forward. Despite Rose's requests that the crowd move away from the stage, two fans were trampled to death. The media largely blamed the band for the tragedy, and reported that the band had continued playing even when there were dangerous crowd conditions. In fact, the final report on the Donington incident filed by the head of security at the venue noted that the band had not been aware of the extent of fan injuries, had immediately halted their set when requested to do so, and had attempted to calm the crowd. Nonetheless, events such as these during the Appetite for Destruction tour earned the group the title of "the world's most dangerous band". In addition, the behavior of the band members also garnered negative attention from the media. McKagan, Slash, Stradlin and Adler were often seen intoxicated both on and off stage.
The band's next release was G N' R Lies in 1988, which reached No. 2 on the Billboard music charts. The album included the four Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide recordings on one side and four acoustic songs on the other. The song "One in a Million", which included the words "niggers" and "faggots" led to controversy in which critics accused the band, and specifically Axl Rose, of racism and homophobia. Rose responded (in a 1990 interview with MTV) by saying the claims were unfounded, particularly considering Slash himself is half black. He went on to explain that the words were those of a protagonist and not a personal statement, and that the lyrics reflected racial and prejudicial problems within society rather than promoting them. Rose also cited that he idolized gay/bisexual singers like Freddie Mercury and Elton John. The band had played gigs alongside the all-black metal band Body Count, and lead singer Ice T wrote in his book, The Ice Opinion, that Axl had been "a victim of the press the same way I am".
Even after the release of G N' R Lies, Appetite for Destruction continued to be popular for the rest of 1988 and 1989, which resulted in them winning both Favorite Heavy Metal Artist and Favorite Heavy Metal Album (Appetite for Destruction) at the nationally televised 1990 American Music Awards, where Slash and McKagan appeared visibly intoxicated and used profanities on the air. The members finally took steps to deal with their addictions after Rose threatened to end the band if they continued with their heavy drug abuse. He even spoke publicly about the situation, specifically the heroin addictions, while opening for The Rolling Stones at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1989 by stating that if certain members of the band do not stop "dancing with Mr. Brownstone", Guns N' Roses was finished - mainly referring to Slash and Adler.
 Fame and fortune (1990–1993)
 Use Your IllusionIn 1990, Guns N' Roses returned to the studio to begin recording their most ambitious undertaking yet. During the recording session of "Civil War", drummer Steven Adler was unable to perform well due to his struggles with cocaine and heroin addiction – his difficulties in the studio caused the band to do nearly 30 takes. As a result, Adler was fired in July 1990 and was replaced by drummer Matt Sorum, who had played briefly with Cult, and whom Axl credited for saving the band. A few months prior, keyboardist Dizzy Reed became the sixth member of the group when he joined as a full time member. The band fired their manager, Alan Niven, replacing him with Doug Goldstein in May 1991. According to a 1991 cover story by Rolling Stone magazine, Rose forced the dismissal of Niven (against the wishes of some of his band-mates) by refusing to complete the albums until he was replaced.
With enough music for two albums, the band released Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II on September 17, 1991. The tactic paid off when the albums debuted at No. 2 and No. 1 respectively in the Billboard charts, setting a record as they became the first and only group to achieve this feat until Hip-Hop artist Nelly accomplished the same with his simultaneously-released albums Sweat and Suit, which broke the long-standing sales records set by Use Your Illusion I and II. The albums spent 108 weeks in the chart.
Guns N' Roses accompanied the Use Your Illusion albums with many videos, including "Don't Cry", "November Rain" and "Estranged" – some of the most expensive music videos ever made. The hit ballad "November Rain" (No. 3 US) became the most requested video on MTV, eventually winning the 1992 MTV Video Music Award for best cinematography. It is also the longest song in chart history to reach the Top Ten, clocking in at 8:56. During the awards show, the band performed the song with Elton John accompanying on piano.
Both prior to and after the release of the albums, Guns N' Roses embarked on the 28-month-long Use Your Illusion World Tour. It became famous for both its financial success and the many controversial incidents that occurred at the shows, and is still currently the longest tour in rock history.
 Use Your Illusion World TourThe Use Your Illusion World Tour program included a guitar solo from Slash based on The Godfather theme, a piano-driven cover of "It's Alright" by Black Sabbath and an extended jam on the classic rock-inspired "Move to the City" where they showcased the ensemble of musicians assembled for the tour.
Many of the successful performances during the tour were equally matched, and often overshadowed, in the press by riots, late starts and outspoken rants by Rose. While the band's previous drug and alcohol issues were seemingly under control, Axl was often agitated by lax security, sound problems and unwanted filming or recording of the performances. He also used the time in-between songs to fire off political statements or retorts against music critics or celebrity rivals.
On July 2, 1991, at the Riverport Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, Missouri, just outside of St. Louis, during a performance of "Rocket Queen", Rose noticed that a fan was filming the show with a camera. He asked the venue's security to take away the camera, and after a few seconds decided to take it himself, jumping into the audience and tackling the fan. He had a heated confrontation with the fan before physically assaulting him. After being pulled out of the audience by members of the crew, Rose said, "Well, thanks to the lame-ass security, I'm going home!", threw his microphone to the ground and stormed off stage. The angry crowd began to riot and dozens of people were injured. Footage was captured by Robert John, who was documenting the entire tour. Rose was wanted by the police for inciting the riot, but police were unable to arrest him until almost a year later, as the band went overseas to continue the tour. Charges were filed against Rose, but a judge ruled that he did not directly incite the riot. In his defense, Rose stated that the Guns N' Roses security team had made four separate requests to the venue's security staff to remove the camera, all of which were ignored, and that other members of the band had reported being hit by bottles launched from the audience, while the security staff was refusing to enforce a drinking limit. Consequently, Use Your Illusion's artwork featured a hidden message amidst the Thank You section of the liner notes: "Fuck You, St. Louis!"
After a repeat of the St. Louis incident nearly unfolded during a concert in Germany, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin abruptly quit the band. He cited a combination of Rose's personal behavior (Rose frequently delayed the start of shows by hours at a time) and his mismanagement of the band and difficulties being around Slash, Sorum, and McKagan due to his new-found sobriety and their continuing alcohol and substance addictions. Axl Rose originally wanted Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro to replace Stradlin, but Stradlin was eventually replaced by Los Angeles-based guitarist Gilby Clarke whom Slash credited for saving the band. During many shows throughout the tour, Rose introduced Clarke to the audience and Slash and Clarke would then play "Wild Horses", a Rolling Stones cover. In late 1991, Rose added a touring ensemble to the band which included a horns section and several background vocalists despite the rest of the band's refusal.
In 1992, the band appeared at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, performing a two-song set. Slash later performed "Tie Your Mother Down" with the remaining members of Queen and Def Leppard vocalist Joe Elliott, while Axl Rose performed "We Will Rock You" and sang a duet with Elton John on "Bohemian Rhapsody". Their personal set included "Paradise City" and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door". When they returned to the US for the second leg of the Use Your Illusion tour, Queen guitarist Brian May opened the shows with a band that included Cozy Powell on drums. Axl had originally wanted the grunge band (and labelmates) Nirvana to open their Use Your Illusion tour but frontman Kurt Cobain refused. Cobain also made some negative comments about Guns N' Roses which infuriated Rose and started of one of his biggest feuds, other than the ones with his band-mates.
Later in the year they went on the GNR-Metallica Stadium Tour with American Metal band Metallica. During a show in August 1992 at Montreal's Olympic Stadium, Metallica frontman James Hetfield suffered severe burns after stepping too close to a pyrotechnics blast. Metallica was forced to cancel the second hour of the show, but promised to return to the city for another performance. After a long delay, during which the audience became increasingly restless, Guns N' Roses took the stage. However, the shortened time between sets did not allow for adequate tuning of stage monitors, resulting in members of G n' R not being able to hear themselves. In addition, Rose claimed that his throat hurt, causing the band to leave the stage early. The cancellation led to another riot by audience members, reminiscent of the St. Louis riot, that had occurred one year earlier. Rioters overturned cars, smashed windows, looted local stores and set fires. Local authorities were barely able to bring the mob under control. This can be seen on video in A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica. On MTV's Rockumentary about Metallica, the band spoke about this tour and how they learned from Guns N' Roses what not to do.
The historic tour ended in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 17, 1993. The tour set attendance records and lasted for 28 months, in which 192 shows were played. The show in Buenos Aires marked the last time original members Slash and McKagan as well as newcomers Clarke and Sorum would play a live show with Rose. At the tour's conclusion, Axl Rose would fire Gilby Clarke without consulting anyone claiming he was only a "hired hand".
 "The Spaghetti Incident?"On November 23, 1993, Guns N' Roses released a collection of punk and glam rock covers entitled "The Spaghetti Incident?". Despite protests from Rose's band-mates, an unadvertised cover of the Charles Manson song "Look at Your Game Girl" was included on the album at his request. Years later, Rose said he would remove the song from new pressings of the album, claiming that critics and the media had misinterpreted his interest in Manson. Axl can be seen wearing a black Manson shirt in the video for "Estranged" from Use Your Illusion II. He also can be seen wearing a red Manson shirt in footage from their show in Milton Keynes, England, in 1993, with the additional text on the back, "Charlie Don't Surf". "Look at Your Game Girl" has not been removed and is still featured on pressings of the album. Despite initial success, "The Spaghetti Incident?" did not match the sales of the Illusion albums and its release consequently led to increased tension within the band.
 Hiatus (1994–1998)Interviews with Guns N' Roses band members suggest that between 1994 and 1996, the band sporadically began to write and record new material, most of which, according to Slash, had been written by Rose. Rose has stated the exact opposite in the open letter on the official Guns N' Roses website, that the album was mostly a "Slash album" and Rose was allowed very little input into the album. At the time, the band had intended to release a single album with 10 or 12 songs.
Regarding the dysfunction of the band's recording at that time, Rose is quoted as saying, "We still needed the collaboration of the band as a whole to write the best songs. Since none of that happened, that's the reason why that material got scrapped."
In December 1994, Guns N' Roses released a cover recording of the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil". The song appeared in the film Interview with the Vampire, on the movie's soundtrack and was also released separately as a single. It is the final Guns N' Roses single to feature Slash on lead guitar, Duff McKagan on bass, and Matt Sorum on the drums. It also featured Paul Huge on rhythm guitar, whose presence on the track and in the band created great tension between Rose and Slash, as Slash disliked Huge and felt he had no place nor the 'chops' to fit in G N' R.
The recording of "Sympathy for the Devil", as well as tension between him and Rose, led Slash to quit the band officially in October 1996. He was replaced by Nine Inch Nails touring guitarist Robin Finck in January 1997, who signed a two year contract with the band in August 1997 making him an official member. Slash's departure was followed shortly thereafter by Matt Sorum, who was fired in April 1997 and then by bassist Duff McKagan, who resigned from the band in August 1997. As such, all of the members who had taken part in the recording of Appetite for Destruction (aside from Rose) had departed from the band. Multiple views have been presented on the departures by various band members (current and former). 1994 was the last year Rose held a press conference or performed until 2001 with his new cast. Rose's only performance in 1994 was a duet with Bruce Springsteen on a cover of The Beatles song "Come Together". An actual break-up of Guns N' Roses never occurred, as new players were brought in as the old ones left. (For more information on the personnel changes over the years see the article: "List of Guns N' Roses band members")
McKagan was the last of the Appetite lineup to leave, resigning as bassist in August 1997, being replaced later that year by Tommy Stinson (formerly of The Replacements.) Sorum was replaced by Chris Vrenna for a short time in April to May 1997, followed briefly by Pod, and finally by Josh Freese in the summer of 1997. By the end of 1998, a new version of Guns N' Roses had emerged: many musicians have come and gone from the new band, but the core group has included Rose, Stinson, keyboardist Dizzy Reed and multi-instrumentalist Chris Pitman.
 Chinese Democracy (1999–2008)In 1999, the band released a new song, "Oh My God", which was included on the soundtrack of the film End of Days. The track featured additional guitar work by Dave Navarro and Gary Sunshine, Rose's personal guitar teacher. The song's release was intended to be a prelude to their new album, entitled Chinese Democracy.
 Live Era: '87-'93 (1999)Geffen released Live Era: '87-'93, a collection of live performances from various concerts during the Appetite for Destruction and Use Your Illusion tours. The band owed Universal/Interscope a live album, which was primarily assembled by Duff, who at the time was still a partner in the band.
Also in 1999, during an interview with Kurt Loder for MTV, Axl said that he had re-recorded Appetite for Destruction with the then-new band, apart from two songs which he had replaced with "Patience" and "You Could Be Mine".
Chinese Democracy had reportedly been in the works since 1994, with Rose the only original member still in the band. According to a report published in 2005 by The New York Times, Rose had allegedly spent $13 million in the studio by that point.
In 1999, guitarist Robin Finck departed the band to rejoin his former band, Nine Inch Nails, on tour. In 2000, avant-garde guitarist Buckethead joined Guns N' Roses as a replacement for Finck. Drummer Josh Freese was replaced with Bryan Mantia (formerly of Primus). Robin Finck returned to the band in late 2000, to complement Buckethead on lead guitar.
 The "New" Guns N' Roses, Chinese Democracy (2001-2008)With nine years having passed since the last Guns N' Roses concert, the band made a public appearance in January 2001, with two well-received concerts, one in Las Vegas and one at the Rock in Rio Festival in Rio de Janeiro. The band played a mixture of songs from previous albums as well as songs from then-unreleased Chinese Democracy. During their Rock in Rio set, Rose made the following comment regarding former members of the band: “I know that many of you are disappointed that some of the people you came to know and love could not be with us here today. Regardless of what you have heard or read, people worked very hard (meaning my former friends) to do everything they could so that I could not be here today. I am as hurt and disappointed as you that unlike Oasis, we could not find a way to all get along.”
They played a further two shows in Las Vegas at the end of 2001. In 2002, rhythm guitarist Paul Tobias left the band because of his frustrations with life on the road and was replaced by Richard Fortus (formerly of The Psychedelic Furs and Love Spit Love). The band then played several shows in August 2002, headlining festivals and concerts throughout Asia and Europe. They made their way to New York for a surprise appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards in September.
In 2002, the band's first North American tour since 1993 was organized to support Chinese Democracy, with CKY and Mix Master Mike supporting. However, the opening show in Vancouver was canceled by the venue when Rose failed to turn up (having remained in Los Angeles), and a riot ensued. This tour was met with mixed results. Some concerts did not sell well, while shows in larger markets such as New York sold out in minutes. Due to a second riot by fans in Philadelphia when the band failed to show up again, tour promoter Clear Channel canceled the remainder of the tour.
The band went on hiatus until they were scheduled to play at Rock in Rio IV in May 2004. However, Buckethead left the band in March of that year, causing the band to cancel. That same month, Geffen released Guns N' Roses' Greatest Hits, since Rose had failed to deliver a new studio album in more than ten years. Rose expressed his displeasure with this album as its track listing was established without his consent and went as far as trying to block its release by suing Geffen. This failed, however, and the album went triple platinum in the US.
In February 2006, demos of the songs "Better", "Catcher in the Rye", "I.R.S.", and "There Was a Time" were leaked on to the Internet through a Guns N' Roses fan site. The band's management requested that all links to the MP3 files and all lyrics to the songs be removed from forums and websites. Despite this, radio stations began adding "I.R.S." to playlists, and the song actually reached #49 on the Radio & Records Active Rock National Airplay chart in the final week of February – the first time an Internet leak has done so.
Sebastian Bach) and said that the new Guns N' Roses album would be released before the end of the year. Later in May, the band launched a European tour, headlining both the Download Festival and Rock In Rio - Lisbon. Four warm-up shows preceded the tour at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City and became the band's first live concert dates since the aborted 2002 tour. The shows also marked the debut of guitarist and composer Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, replacing Buckethead. During the tour, former band-mate Izzy Stradlin and ex-Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach made frequent guest appearances.
Five warm-up shows before a 2006 North American tour were held in September 2006. The tour officially commenced on October 24 in Miami. Drummer Frank Ferrer replaced Bryan Mantia, who took a leave of absence to be with his wife and newborn child. Coinciding with the tour, the song "Better" was featured in an internet advertisement for Harley-Davidson beginning in October 2006. That same month, Rolling Stone published an article revealing that Andy Wallace would be mixing the final album.
In December 2006, Axl Rose released an open letter to fans announcing that Merck Mercuriadis had been fired as the band's manager. He revealed that the last four dates of the North American tour would be cut so the band could work on post-production for Chinese Democracy. He also set a tentative release date for the album for the first time since the album's announcement: March 6, 2007.
On February 8, 2007, the band played a two-song set at the Rodeo Drive's Walk of Style ceremony, held in Beverly Hills, California. The band, with Chris Pitman on bass, blazed through "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" and "Sweet Child o' Mine" to close the event, which honored Gianni and Donatella Versace.
On February 23, 2007, Del James announced that Chinese Democracy's recording stage was finished, and the band had now moved onto mixing the album. However, this proved that the March 6 release date would be impossible to achieve, and the album once again had no scheduled release date.
On May 4, 2007 three more tracks leaked from Chinese Democracy; an updated version of "I.R.S.", "The Blues" and the title track. All three tracks had previously been played live. Guns N' Roses embarked on the 2007 leg of the Chinese Democracy World Tour in Mexico in June, followed by dates in Australia and Japan. The songs "Nice Boys" and a "Don't Cry" Bumblefoot solo rendition were played for the first time since the Use Your Illusion Tour. The tour ended on the twentieth anniversary of Appetite for Destruction's release date, in Osaka. During this tour, the band featured Axl Rose, Robin Finck, Ron Thal and Richard Fortus on guitars, Tommy Stinson on bass, Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman on keyboards and Frank Ferrer on drums.
Rose appeared as a guest performer on three of the tracks on Sebastian Bach's album, Angel Down, which was released on November 20, 2007.
On March 26, 2008, Dr Pepper announced a plan to give everyone in America – except the band's former guitarists Slash and Buckethead – a free can of Dr Pepper if the band released Chinese Democracy before the end of 2008. Rose added, "As some of Buckethead's performances are on our album, I'll share my Dr Pepper with him." With the announcement from Guns N' Roses regarding a release date in November, Tony Jacobs, Dr Pepper's Vice President of Marketing for Dr. Pepper, announced a free soda coupon campaign for 24 hours on Sunday, November 23, 2008. Due to "heavy volume" on the server throughout the entire day it was impossible to submit for your free coupon.
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On April 5, 2008, a picture of Robin Finck appeared on Nine Inch Nails' web page, under the title "Welcome Back!" starting the rumor of his possible reunion with Trent Reznor. Later, on April 11, 2008, Robin Finck publicly expressed his happiness on playing again with NIN. On April 20, Axl Rose voiced his surprise about Robin Finck's latest news on the Guns N' Roses official website, but made assurance that the band was working with its management on the release of Chinese Democracy and thanked the fans for the continuous shows of support.
Nine tracks purported to be from Chinese Democracy were leaked to an online site on June 19, 2008 and quickly removed due to a cease-and-desist letter from the band's label. Six of the leaked tracks had surfaced previously in some form, while three were new. The leaked songs were fleshed out more than previously heard tracks. On July 14, 2008, Harmonix, in conjunction with MTV Games, officially announced the release of a new song from the upcoming Chinese Democracy album, called "Shackler's Revenge", through their new game Rock Band 2. Also the song "Chinese Democracy" is being played on the bands website.
In late August, speculation about the impending release of the album resurfaced, further fueled by separate reports from both Rolling Stone and Billboard about a November 25 release date as a Best Buy exclusive. This was finally confirmed October 22 when band management, Best Buy, and Interscope Geffen A&M Records officially issued a joint press release confirming the much anticipated release of the album in the US on November 23 as a Best Buy exclusive. Ten days before the official release of the Chinese Democracy album, on November 13, 2008, the "Chinese Democracy" single topped the general iTunes Music Store chart in Greece, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Finland. In addition to being the No. 1 song and No. 1 rock song in these countries, it became the No. 1 rock song on iTunes in the US, Canada, France and the UK.
Chinese Democracy was released on November 22, 2008 in Europe and Australia, in North America on November 23, 2008 and in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2008, becoming the band's sixth studio album and their first since 1993's "The Spaghetti Incident?".
 Post-Chinese Democracy (2009-present)
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|“||What's clear is that one of the two of us will die before a reunion and however sad, ugly or unfortunate anyone views it, it is how it is. Those decisions were made a long time ago and reiterated year after year by one man.||”|
|“||I could see doing a song or so on the side with Izzy or having him out [on tour] again. I'm not so comfortable with doing anything having more than one of the alumni. Maybe something with Duff, but that's it, and not something I'd have to really get down into, as I'd get left with sorting it out and then blamed on top of it. So, no, not me.||”|
On December 10, 2009, Axl Rose was on his way to board his flight at LAX for Taipei, Taiwan to start the new set of tour dates when he was involved in an altercation with paparazzi. Axl claimed the paparazzi were hassling one of the women in his party. Axl was filmed punching a man in the head, knocking him to the ground. No police reports were filed, and Axl boarded his flight and went on to perform.
The next day, Guns N' Roses played their first show in Taipei, Taiwan, marking the band's first concerts since before the release of Chinese Democracy. This was only the second public appearance Rose had made since June 2007. 
On December 19, 2009, Guns N' Roses played their longest concert ever at the Tokyo Dome - 3 hours, 37 minutes - also breaking the record for longest concert played at the venue. The set list included 13 of the 14 songs from Chinese Democracy, an assortment of songs from previous albums and covers from AC/DC and Dead Boys. It was the last show of the Asian Leg.
On January 13, 2010, the Canadian Leg of the tour began, playing at MTS Centre in Winnipeg to generally positive reviews. Rolling Stone said:
|“||The frontman and his septet took the stage shortly after 10:40 p.m. - practically a matinee for the notorious Rose. And once they got down to business, they certainly made up for any lost time, treating 7,500 fans at the city’s MTS Centre to a high-energy three-hour marathon of new material and classic G n’ R hits.||”|
On January 19, 2010, the band played at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon. This show marked the first time since 2007 that the song "Paradise City" was not played in the encore, instead being played right before.
On February 4, 2010, at Halifax Metro Centre, Mike Smith again with other Trailer Park Boys cast members, including John Dunsworth, J.P. Tremblay, Robb Wells and Jonathon Torrens, performed "Liquor & Whores" with the band for the encore.
Music video director Dale Resteghini announced that he had been hired by Rose to document and shoot stills for the band's current South American tour. According to a press release from Adrenaline PR (Rage's publicists), Axl wanted to make some videos later in the year in support of Chinese Democracy, on the same grand scope and style of classics such as "November Rain".
On March 13, 2010, the band played at Palestra Itália Stadium for 40,000 fans in São Paulo. Axl Rose was hit by a bottle of water during "Chinese Democracy". He stopped the show for a minute and screamed:
|“||You wanna fuck up the show for everybody? You wanna fuck with me and my boys? We will leave.||”|
In Lima, March 25, 2010, Axl Rose was hit by a bottle again in the very beginning, after being late for almost 2 hours. He stopped the show just like in São Paulo, but used an interpreter to threaten the crowd. Axl said:
|“||If you wanna throw shit, we will leave. We would like to stay and have fun with you for a long time tonight. So we're gonna have fun? Let's try that again".||”|
In San Jose, Costa Rica, on April 9, 2010, the day of the concert, the show was canceled due to safety issues with the stage. Hailed in the media as a "stage collapse," and with only a short time to rebuild the stage, the show was canceled. An attempt to reschedule the gig was made after the cancellation of a concert in Guatemala, but that fell through as well. At the time the makeup date was canceled, construction of a stage was already underway at a venue in La Guacima. In the end, both Costa Rica's and Guatemala's shows were canceled, and the band moved on to the final show of the Central American tour leg in Puerto Rico.
On April 16, 2010, Live Nation Norway announced that the European leg of Guns N' Roses 2010 Chinese Democracy tour would start in Bergen, Norway, with a second show in Oslo. Several days later, on April 19, an announcement from Russian promoter SAV Entertainment heralded the first ever Guns N' Roses show in Russia, with a date in Moscow. In addition, the promoter released a promotional poster which also listed the June dates of Guns N' Roses upcoming European tour, featuring an ever first Russian show in St. Petersburg, which took place on June 6. Other countries to be covered during the June 2010 stretch include Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Serbia, Croatia, and the Czech Republic, as well as previously rumored and announced dates in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.
In May 2010, Axl Rose filed a $5 million lawsuit against former manager Irving Azoff, saying that Azoff sabotaged sales of Guns N' Roses' comeback album and lied about a potential "super tour" with Van Halen (which Azoff manages) as part of a plan to force Rose to reunite with his estranged former band members. Rose said in his suit that Azoff failed to promote his 2008 album, "Chinese Democracy," and deliberately mishandled concert dates, "forcing Rose into a position where he would have no choice but to reunite with the original members of Guns N' Roses for a reunion tour."
Guns N' Roses headlined the Friday night at Reading Festival 2010 and closed Leeds Festival two days later. Guns N' Roses were 58 minutes late coming on to the stage and because of a curfew issued by Reading Council their set had to end at midnight. This meant that they could not complete their set engaging in attempting to play Paradise City without amplification with the audience singing along. Axl Rose orchestrated fan frustration toward the organizers, telling fans that they would not play at the Leeds Festival. But two days later Guns N' Roses played the final night of the Leeds Festival coming onto stage only 30 minutes late.
On September 1, 2010, in Dublin, the band was 90 minutes late arriving on stage. Axl suddenly stopped the band in the middle of the second song, Welcome to the Jungle, and warned the crowd that if any more water bottles were thrown on stage, the band would leave. After the fourth song, a bottle was thrown on stage. The band departed the stage. A PA announced that 'technical difficulties' were being experienced which caused more booing. After 15 minutes the lights went up as thousands milled around, with many leaving. Unexpectedly, after 40 minutes the band re-appeared and Axl completed the set either standing or sitting, but refused to engage with the crowd other than to introduce the band members.
On September 14, 2010, in Paris, Guns N' Roses played a "surprise" acoustic gig at the L'Arc restaurant and bar, similar to gigs stateside earlier in the year, a day after their Paris concert. The show featured both classic Guns tunes and several cuts from Chinese Democracy, including the seldom-played Catcher in the Rye.
On October 14, 2010, Duff McKagan joined Guns N' Roses to perform four songs, "You Could Be Mine", "Nice Boys", "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" and "Patience" (on tambourine), at the O2 Arena, London, England. The appearance was said to be a spur-of-the-moment thing as he and Rose happened to be staying in the same hotel.
On February 5, 2011, Axl Rose said that the rumours of any possible reunion is not true. He also stated that Doc McGhee "s no longer involved w/either myself or GN'R."
 Next albumIn an MTV phone interview with Kurt Loder in 1999, Rose said he and the then-new band had recorded enough material for a double album. In an informal chat with Rolling Stone magazine in February 2006, Rose stated the band had 32 songs in the works. While appearing on various fan message boards in December 2008 (after the release of Chinese Democracy, which was released in November of that year), he stated several working titles for a possible future album. Amongst the working titles confirmed: "Elvis Presley and the Monster of Soul" ("Soul Monster", formerly known as "Leave Me Alone"), "Atlas Shrugged", "Seven", "The General", "Thyme", "Ides of March", "Berlin" (formerly "Oklahoma"), "Zodiac", "Quick Song", and "Down by the Ocean"(co-written by original member Izzy Stradlin). During the chat, he mentioned the bridge of "Soul Monster" as the band's "most Black Sabbath" moment, and referred to it as "the meanest section of anything I've sung to date." In a 2007 interview, Axl Rose's close friend Sebastian Bach stated "The General" had a "heavy" sound with "screaming vocals" and also said it was the sequel to the 1991 classic ballad "Estranged" from the album Use Your Illusion II. Bach also remarked that Chinese Democracy will be the first installment in a trilogy of new albums, and that Rose had told him the third, as yet untitled, album has been slated for 2012.
Recently, guitarist DJ Ashba has said that the next album is currently being discussed, stating that the band "has been throwing around a bunch of ideas" and that the next album "won't take as long" to release.
 Musical styleThe music of Guns N' Roses is a fusion of punk rock, blues-rock, heavy metal and hard rock. In the 1990s, the band integrated keyed instruments (played by either Rose or Reed, and accompanied on tour by Teddy Andreadis) into the band, and for roughly half of the Use Your Illusion tour, added a horn section to the stage. While Reed has remained on some of the Chinese Democracy demos, tours since 2000 have not included wind instruments, though the band has employed synthesized horns on some of their new songs.
A heavy influence on both the image and sound of the band was Finnish band Hanoi Rocks (singer Michael Monroe and Rose have collaborated on various occasions). Rose has stated that the band was massively inspired by groups like Queen, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, and Rose Tattoo and that the sound of Appetite for Destruction was influenced by AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, the New York Dolls, and Hanoi Rocks.
Also, Guns N' Roses has influenced many bands such as Marilyn Manson, Bullet for My Valentine, Korn, Limp Bizkit, X-Japan, Kid Rock, Buckcherry, Avenged Sevenfold, Tool, Crashdiet, among many others.
 Recognition and criticismGuns N' Roses signed with a major label within eight months of their inception and topped national sales charts weeks after garnering late hours airplay on MTV. Appetite for Destruction is the highest-selling debut album of all time.
Their peers in the music industry often spoke highly of the band. Joe Perry said that they were the first band to remind him of Led Zeppelin. Ozzy Osbourne called Guns N' Roses "the next Rolling Stones." In 2002, Q magazine named Guns N' Roses in their list of the "50 Bands to See Before You Die". Also, the television network VH1 ranked Guns N' Roses ninth in its "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" special, and also ranked 11th on "Top 50 bands". Appetite for Destruction appeared in Rolling Stone magazine's special issue "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Guns N' Roses #92 on their list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". "Welcome to the Jungle" had also been voted "Best Hard Rock Song" out of 100 others by VH1.
The band has not been free of criticism. The flagrant alcohol and drug abuse by some members of the group, and Axl's fondness for Charles Manson T-shirts, were used by the media to portray Guns N' Roses as a poor example and negative influence on their young fans. The long periods of time that the band took to release albums were also a source of heavy criticism (the band's second album, G N' R Lies, was actually an EP packaged with another older EP, and one of the songs was an acoustic version of a song from their debut album.) It took four years for the band to release a proper follow-up to Appetite for Destruction, and it took Rose another 15 years after The Spaghetti Incident to release Chinese Democracy. Their late appearances and "war" with Reading and Leeds festival (2010) have been criticized by other artists.
In October 2009, Ulrich Schnauss's record labels, Independiente and Domino, sued Guns N' Roses, alleging that the band had committed copyright infringement by using portions of Schnauss's compositions in the track "Riad N' the Bedouins" on the album Chinese Democracy.
 Band members
- Current members
- Axl Rose – lead vocals, piano (1985–present)
- Dizzy Reed – keyboards, piano, synthesizer (1990–present)
- Tommy Stinson – bass guitar, backing vocals (1998–present)
- Chris Pitman – keyboards, programming, backing vocals (1998–present)
- Richard Fortus – rhythm & lead guitars, backing vocals (2002–present)
- Frank Ferrer – drums, percussion (2006–present)
- Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal – lead & rhythm guitars (2006–present)
- DJ Ashba – lead & rhythm guitars (2009–present)
- Appetite for Destruction (1987)
- G N' R Lies (1988)
- Use Your Illusion I (1991)
- Use Your Illusion II (1991)
- "The Spaghetti Incident?" (1993)
- Chinese Democracy (2008)
 Awards and nominations
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- ^ AP Thu Nov 20, 11:56 pm ET
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- Steven Adler with Lawrence Spagnola (2010). My Appetite for Destruction: Sex, and Drugs, and Guns N' Roses. It Books. ISBN 978-0061917110.
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