It only took W. Axl Rose 20 years to show up for last night's live televised interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, which seems about right after the decade the Guns N' Roses lizard required to record Chinese Democracy. Axl's extreme tardiness was apparently the only one of his million idiosyncrasies Kimmel was allowed to mention—and it became a recurring punchline—there was no talk of Slash or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or Lana Del Rey or where Our Man Rose dwindled away those missing years. Instead, they talked about Axl's political leanings ("Obama"), his stint managing a Tower Records, and how he's medicating a recent cold ("I'm on a bunch of different things—legal, illegal").
An email arrived in the Gawker inbox from a reader named John H. who was deeply concerned — disturbed, even — by what's become of Axl Rose, the puzzling and frustrating lead singer of Guns N' Roses, the band most Americans between 30 and 45 still consider rock's greatest tragedy due to their unwillingness to reunite properly. John, thankfully, appears to have been less than engaged with G N 'R's many trials and transmutations after the Use Your Illusion albums (circa 1991), so he's in the darkest corner of a darkened room when it comes to W. Axl Rose:
After getting through this Brazilian band's "cover' (and calling it a cover is being nice) of Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" you may need a shot. Or five. The pain and agony (and sheer glory) inside.
In what is sure to be the most consequential piece of legal maneuvering since 50 Cent sued Taco Bell last week, idiot Guns n' Roses frontman Axl Rose had his attorney fire off a scathing letter to the Dr. Pepper corporation regarding the company's recent GnR-related marketing mishaps. It promises to be quite a dustup—rock and roll style!!1! Take, heed, soft drink companies: here's what happens when you try to give out a free soda to everyone in America:
After 17 years of false starts and whispery rumors, no one was shocked when Chinese Democracy, Guns N' Roses' (well, Axl Rose's at least) newest and much-delayed album, was finally released last week. Except for the, well, Chinese! As if they were living under some sort of all-the-way-around-the-world rock or something, this is apparently the first the Communist-y supernation has heard of the album. And they are not happy about it. The album's title is "venomously attacking China," according to national Chinese newspaper the Global Times. The album is laden with commentary on the Chinese government, referencing the banned spiritual practice of Falun Gong and featuring the 1989-y lyric: "if your Great Wall rocks blame yourself." (If you're Great Wall's a rockin', you're probably doin' the knockin'! Of boots! Chinese boots!) But, c'mon, we've known the title of this thing for years, and the Chinese are just now getting mad about it? They could have been raging about this since, like, before the internet even existed! Where were the pamphlets about how the album is a Western tool meant to "grasp and control the world using democracy as a pawn"? I mean, it's true! And it's also about rockin' out! Their reaction, though resoundingly nationalistic and scary, is probably kind of what Axl and his newish bandmates were hoping for here stateside. Instead all they got was a deliciously side-winding review by Chuck Klosterman, and sad opening day debuts at Best Buy. So, I guess it just goes to show that the world has changed a lot since last we Used Our Illusion, but China hasn't noticed. Because, you know, they've been focusing on slightly bigger things. China State Media Blast New Guns N' Roses Album [AP]
Guns N' Roses takes its 15-year battle with irrelevance straight to the people today, officially releasing the title track of its long, long, long, long-delayed album Chinese Democracy after years of leaks, lawsuits and general internecine drama that left a once-great rock band in yawning disarray. We've tired enough of attempting to keep up that we hadn't bothered tracking down the new single before this morning (you can hear it after the jump); it's about as soft as Axl Rose's cosmetically burnished features and, as presumed, won't make us forget anything on Appetite For Destruction. And thank goodness, because despite Democracy's Nov. 23 release date finally laid down by Interscope Records, GNR's manager hinted to Entertainment Weekly today that even more "complications" are imminent.Somewhat intriguingly, EW retracted this morning's item headlined, "Guns N' Roses manger: 'Great art takes time'" almost as soon as it was published — right around the time the single first hit the radio and began streaming online. But why? After all, rock managers are chronically bloated with braggadocio, even if shaking up their band's label and exclusive retail partners at Best Buy with suggestions that Nov. 23 doesn't really mean Nov. 23:
Putting his finger on a vague something that's been missing from this holiday season, a San Francisco Chronicle writer realizes that it's a lack of rumors about the imminent release of Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy that's bugging him, then provides a timeline of all the times that Axl Rose, like a creatively blocked Grinch in a kilt and catcher's chest protector, has let the world down since 1999:
"May 11, 2001: The New York Daily News quotes an "insider," who says the album is basically done. "The album has been finished to everybody else's satisfaction for over a year now," the source says. "But Axl keeps going back to remix it and add vocals." [SFGate.com]