RECORD label bosses are fuming after GUNS N’ ROSES frontman AXL ROSE went missing for two months – costing the band a No1 album.
After spending 15 years and £15million recording their big comeback Chinese Democracy, only top spot was good enough.
But they lost out to THE KILLERS’ Day & Age in Sunday’s UK album chart rundown — with BRANDON FLOWERS’ group notching up sales of 200,000 during the week — 80,000 more than Guns N’ Roses.
Bosses at label Geffen are blaming unpredictable Axl for the disappointing sales after he went AWOL for two months before the release date.
Despite all the effort put into one of the most extravagant rock albums of all time, staff could not contact Axl to get him to promote his rock epic.
In fact, they failed to make contact with him from the day he delivered the final cut.
Chinese Democracy’s first week US sales are between 300,000 and 500,000. Yet their 1987 debut album Appetite For Destruction went on to sell a staggering 28million, so they have a long way to go with their new effort.
An insider said: “Everyone knows Axl is a bit of a maverick genius and won’t do anything he doesn’t want to do.
“The label is really glad to have him back. But it is frustrating because the album would have had a much better chance of going to No1 if he had only been prepared to show his face.
“People have been trying to contact him for two months and he’s been completely AWOL.
“You would have thought after spending 15 years on an album you might do a few weeks promotion.”
Better news for the label’s bean counters is the elusive Axl is rumoured to be trying to get the band’s first line-up back together.
Guitarist IZZY STRADLIN has said he is keen to see the original members back together and axe legend SLASH’s involvement in his current band VELVET REVOLVER looks shaky after they were dropped by their label.
If Axl has been spending the last two months of his time reuniting the original members for a world tour, I think Geffen might just forgive him.
As long as they don’t have to wait another 15 years.