As reported here at Hard Rock Hideout, Axl Rose is suing Activision, makers of Guitar Hero III, for using Slash’s likeness in the video game. Rose was supposedly informed that a replica Slash or appearances of his other group, Velvet Revolver, wouldn’t be used in the game. Axl allowed Activision to use Welcome To The Jungle based on this information. There are some internet reports that Axl is upset because of an alleged hatred of Slash. Some message board comments claim Axl is trying to sponge all memory of Slash from Guns N’ Roses. Personally, I don’t know what to think, but I don’t believe either of those statements.
In light of the recent Guitar Hero III news, it made me wonder – will the original Guns N’ Roses ever reunite? What would it take for this to happen? The new incarnation of Guns N’ Roses has been sporadically touring the world (with the exception of the US) in support of Chinese Democracy. As usual, there are rumors that the tour will come to North America (including the US) next year, but that remains to be seen. Velvet Revolver is no more (or on hiatus, as they claim) and Duff McKagan is no longer a member of Jane’s Addiction. As far as anyone knows, Slash has no further plans to further hit the road in support of his solo debut album. Steven Adler has been touring on and off with Adler’s Appetite, but I’m sure he could easily make himself available for a reunion with Guns. As for Izzy Stradlin, he released a new album, Wave Of Heat, this past summer. He is currently not touring in support of that release.
Knowing that all of the principle members of the band are available, is it possible that the original Guns N’ Roses could reunite? All 5 members are currently doing next to nothing. Duff recently showed up at a Guns N Roses gig and played a couple of songs on stage, which had everyone speculating if that was the beginning of something. But, supposedly, there is so much anger and hatred between Slash and Axl Rose, that it would quash any chance of a reunion.
There obviously have been no conversations about reuniting. Axl and Slash would need to sit in a room, work out their differences, and make up to a Jagger/Richards level (at least). Promoters must be salivating at the chance to produce a Guns N’ Roses reunion. The greedy corporations like Live Nation would love to offer the band a guaranteed $100 million and then turn around and rape the fans on ticket prices, merchandise, and everything else they could get their pudgy little fingers on.
I personally think this is one of those rare cases where money won’t solve the problems at hand. I believe that Axl is too stubborn and Slash is moving forward in life. There will be no reunion because the two principal players will never make up. Sure, Duff might be able to be an intermediary, and with a little luck he may be able to get them to sit down and at least be civil toward one another, but I just don’t see a reunion happening. I don’t feel that Axl has grown up enough.
What would you pay to see the original Guns N’ Roses? Knowing how sky high ticket prices can go for these nostalgic concerts, would you be willing to pay a Roger Waters-ish price of $250/ticket? More? Personally, I don’t think that I would pay more than $50, and I would want the concert to start on time. I know, sometimes I can be an old curmudgeon. One of the largest problems the original Guns N’ Roses had was starting concerts on time. In his autobiography Slash said that it was the one thing that bothered him more than anything else about Axl or the band. Concerts have to start on time, not when Axl chooses they should start.
Could they do it? Would Axl and Slash be able to make up long enough to do a reunion tour for the fans? If the Eagles can reunite, anything is possible, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. There’s still a lot of anger, confusion, and frustration inside of Mr. Rose. Until he decides to address those emotional demons, there’s not much hope for anything else. That includes a reunited Guns N’ Roses.