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Could Guns N’ Roses Reunite?

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I won't be the one to start this rumor, since it isn't even a rumor yet. Okay, I will take the lead on this and say it out loud. Most importantly, the original drummer from Guns has been pontificating to anyone who will listen that he has been talking reunion talk with Axl.

Normally, I would dismiss such things out of hands. However, this seems freakishly inevitable if we look carefully at the details. Firstly, remember I wrote a couple of years ago that all bands will get back together. I said it before the Police, Pink Floyd, both Van Halen reunions, Rage Against the Machine, and the Smashing Pumpkins got back together. I said it before it was cool. I will say it again, and I am rarely ever wrong about rock. Barring death, all successful bands will get back together.

Now, I will admit that Axl reconciling with a single human being seems tough. However, know this. Axl is in the bag for the most expensive album ever made… ever. The last numbers I heard were around 13 million spent, and that was two years ago. So, let's use a flat figure of 15 million. Know that all record company money is leant… never given. This means Axl Rose personally has a 15 Million dollar marker from Geffen.

Axl has to make this money back for the company. It isn't an option, it has to happen. What makes the story of Chinese Democracy being the most expensive is this: it doesn't exist yet. Right, small problem recouping the investment with nothing to sell. Now, in order to move all these discs there needs to be massive publicity. Massive. Honestly assume a minimum of 5 million bucks just doing press and videos. So, Axl is on the hook for 20 million now at the most conservative estimates. Can you make that back selling discs? Not really.

See, a super successful CD is one that sells over 100,000 in the first week. Very few records have succeeded in selling a million in the first week. Very few: Pearl Jam's second album, Garth Brooks live box set, and an 'N Sync album. I can guarantee you that Axl will not sell one million CDs in a week. I know because I have heard most of the album. It is good, but not great. So how do we move CDs if they aren't that great? You tour, and boy is that expensive. Especially when your lead singer has a habit of walking of the stage and starting riots. Imagine what it will cost to insure this tour.

Financially speaking, the only possibly way for Axl to create enough buzz and enough cash is to get the band back together. Everyone is alive, and they were the greatest rock band of their time without question. In fact, Appetite for Destruction holds up to me as the greatest rock album of all time. So, either Axl gets the band back together, or those CDs will need a list price of about $5,000 each. Lastly, the album is supposed to be out in two weeks. There isn't a word of press or a single out yet… so that date is pretty much impossible.

I understand that I am just wishing this into fruition. They are the only band I never go to see (because they walked out of every single Phoenix performance) until the Metallica show… which I had missed sadly. The other issue is that there is simply no other way for a band this important and a debt this huge and a wait this long to not end in a full band reunion… right? Don't worry, I'll never forgive Axl for firing the band and stealing their name either. Singers don't write songs, the guitarists do. I will part with these words… Bring Slash home!

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About Lono

  • Vern Halen

    I’ll second everything you said here. I’m also of the belief G’n’R will play the Superbowl half time within the next 2 or 3 years. It might be the last word in the creation of overbloated corporate nostalgia, but at the stage in the game, it might be the last kick at the cat for those who live by the creed: “I know / It’s only rock ‘n’ roll / But I like it.”

  • Callaway

    “Singers don’t write songs, the guitarists do”

    Well, not in this band. Read up on your GNR history, kid.

  • http://mondoproject.com Mark Saleski

    i’m not much for wishing poor on people, but i’d laugh if g’n’r got back together for a tour and then nobody showed up at the shows (assuming that the band actually did).

    something about the whole axl rose/prima donna/chinese checkers thing rubs me the wrong way.

  • http://www.joyrides4shutins.typepad.com Peter

    It will happen. I’m guessing 2008 announcement, 2009 tour. I agree with the writer. It is inevitable. To quote Perry Farrell, “Cash in now, honey… cash in NOOOWWW….” And like most reunions, the group will hold it together long enough for everyone to have a nice little payday. Axl will be Axl, the Howard Hughes of metal… Slash will stay mum. The other guys will be glad for the gigs and the quid. And it will probably be the biggest Charlie Foxtrot or a tour since they did their stadium rounds with Metallica and Faith No More.

    All that said, I would go. I’m all for watching traffic for a couple of hours. Sometimes you get a car wreck… other times, like when the weather is good, you see a whole lotta cool looking autos.

    Hey, maybe they can get the “Pigeons of Shit Metal” to open up. Proud to say that whole debacle happened in my hometown!

  • http://www.factine.com Eric

    I for one hope they DON’T get back together. I saw the new GNR in concert last December and they were absoolutely astonishing. Ron Thal is a far more technically proficient guitarist than Slash, and that’s not just an opinion. Tommy Stinson is a legend and Axl can sing better than ever. There is no reason for a reunion and I’ll be sad if it happens. I’ve heard about half the songs from Chinese Democracy and it will go down as one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, rock albums of all time.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Reunion for money owed makes perfect sense for Axl. It’s why the Squirrel Nut Zippers are currently together. However, Velvet Revolver is working on a new album right now. They will probably tour and might owe another album to the label so I don’t see it happening anytime soon. I don’t think I would go because even Jim Morrison thinks Axl is unreliable at gigs.

    In regards to the reunions, Smashing Pumpkins is just Billy and Jimmy using the name since Billy couldn’t get anything else going. Until I hear them, I’m annoyed that Mike isn’t going to be on the VH tour. Hopefully Rage won’t be a one-off like Pink Floyd was. Now that Audioslave is done, my fingers are crossed.

  • http://www.iamcorrect.com Lono

    Peter,

    You should know that G&R prefer their riots in Canada. Feel comfortable in knowing that every city in America stands a fighting chance of Axl storming out. Last year it was a lamb dinner and no booze bottles on stage that canceled two shows. Pretty awesome to have a band abort three tours in three years considering there isn’t really a band or album yet.

    Some of the new stuff is admittedly good, though. Dig up ‘Madagascar’ or the ‘the Blues’ and enjoy them. I think they are all over youtube.

  • God-I-hope-so

    I’ve never been a prayin’ kinda gal, but after reading this, I may start going to church and offering up a novena or five to St. Jude! (Patron Saint of Hopeless Cases & Lost Causes) Please, please, let this reunion happen! And Lono, I’m so sorry you missed GnR in Phoenix in Aug ’92. I missed Metallica because traffic to Phx Internatl Raceway was backed up for about a thousand miles. But bless Axl’s heart, he was his usual 2-hours late, so we got there right before the band went onstage. And they kicked @ss nonstop for the next two-and-a-half hours. That’s about as close to a spiritual experience as I’ve ever had. I’d buy tix to a reunion concert, I don’t care how much they cost, or how late the band decides to go on. I’m in a GREAT mood now, so thank you for sharing this!!

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Personally, I can’t believe the possibility of this is even being discussed. Even if somehow they are able to pull it together, who in their right mind honestly thinks it would last more than say, five minutes or so? And is there any way it could possibly be as good as GNR were in their prime? Nope. I prefer to have my memory of Appetite For Destruction era GNR remain pure and untarnished. Something ANY reunion would result in accomplishing without a doubt.

    -Glen

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Oh by the way, congrats Lono. Your article was submitted for BC news promotions at Digg and Netscape. Now go vote.

    -Glen

  • http://www.joyrides4shutins.typepad.com Peter

    It will happen. Money makes the world go around. And if seeing Sting and Stewart Copeland hold hands and bow on stage at the Grammys didn’t prove enough benjamins can bury a hatchet, well, then I don’t know what does.

  • http://www.andrewiandodge.com Marty Dodge

    I do hope that Chinese Democracy comes out some time soon so we can judge old vs new GnR. Appetite is going to take something amazing to top as its one of the greatest rock albums of all time. I really don’t see GnR reuniting soon unless, of course, the new Velvet Revolver tanks big time.

  • http://www.stereowarning.com GNR fan

    I wish this writer was right, but unfortunately he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    1) Axl doesn’t owe the money spent on Chinese Democracy back to the label. It’s an advance — he won’t get any of the $$$ from CD sales until the label recoups the $13 mil, but if the record doesn’t sell that much, the loss belongs to the label.

    2) $5 million for press & videos? First of all, Axl doesn’t do press. And second, if they do any videos, Axl won’t be responsible for reimbursing the label for it.

  • http://www.iamcorrect.com Lono

    Bicho > ‘anytime soon’. No one expects anything ‘anytime soon’ from Axl. The new stuff I have heard is more ‘Use your Illusion’ than ‘Appetite’. It is more piano driven than guitar, which makes sense. Axl is writing his own stuff now, and doesn’t have Slash. Expect more November Rain type stuff, a la ‘Madagascar’.

    Another thing to consider about a reunion is how Axl has to pay the money back. Assume Axl has a very lucrative deal with Geffen. He may make up to 50 cents per CD sold. It is out of that 50 cents he has to repay the 15 million.

    Oh, and Boyd – you asked ‘who thinks they would last longer than 2 minutes?’ Absolutely true, which is going to make it so awesome. See, Axl prefers his meltdowns on stage… so we all get to participate. No matter how much of a monster asshole Axl is, he is still one of the great rock singers of all time.

  • Ro0ck girl.patry

    ..Really hope that they get together ..I didn’t saw them eighter..very corect what you sad ,but Axl wrote Novemberr rain… And I think that he can write musik ,but ofcorse Slash is better …Hope that they come in my country too (Romania )..Tehy really are agreat band

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com Brad Schader

    I am probably one of the few who (will admit to watching) saw Steven Addler on tv recently. The guy cannot talk, cannot walk, and can barely think. There is no way that this guy can hold a drumstick let alone play drums. This is a junkie’s dream (Addler, not the author).

  • http://www.joyrides4shutins.typepad.com Peter

    I’m sure Sorum would handle the kit

  • zingzing

    isn’t izzy the real songwriter in the group anyway?

    if he’s on board… which he is a bit, it seems… i’m interested. slash is overrated.

  • http://www.noteapot.com noteapot

    “It’s an advance the loss belongs to the label.”

    With very few exceptions, and somehow I doubt anyone would give a somewhat unstable drug using GnR member a blank cheque, an advance is always a loan. In the case of GNR they probably have collateral in the form of the back catalogue but its still a loan.

    What many new stars used to do who get stuck in this situation (“we sold a million Cds and we still owe you money ?”) is go bankrupt to get out of the contract and then do a comeback once all contracts and debts have expired. This doesnt seem to happen a lot lately so i guess the contacts have changed. I doubt that Axl would want to do that anyway when he has a back catalogue and nostalgic fanbase he can exploit by reforming the band for a couple of years but he does seem like a stubborn soul so who knows.

    If he doesnt do it , a John Lennon type exit in the second week of CD release might be the best thing for the record company. Hard to get that kind of plan through marketing though :-)

  • http://www.iamcorrect.com Lono

    I would have to say my favorite way of watching an artist freak out in his/her record contract would be Prince. Know why he changed his name to that thing and wrote ‘slave’ on his face for every public appearance? It is because Warner Brothers owned his ass and he HATED them. That whole thing was simply about screwing Warner Brothers and when his contract was finally over he went back to being Prince.

    This is why he financed his own record, and allowed others only to distribute it. That way, he could own the masters. That is also why he gave away a CD for every ticket sold. A rather ingenious way to pump up sales numbers, and to get the music directly into your fans’ hands.

    I remember reading a few years ago that Prince was so focused only on screwing Warner that he wanted to re-record exact replicas of all his Warner albums and re-release them on his own label so that Warner wouldn’t garner future sales either.

    * now, if you want to know how to avoid all that in the first place… do some research on Annie DiFranco. She revolutionized everything. She is her own record company, production company, press and promotion company, and agent. She is ‘Riteous Babe Records’… and it simply has not even been done better in the history of record contracts than how she does her business.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Until I hear them, I’m annoyed that Mike isn’t going to be on the VH tour.”

    It looks like no one is going to be on the VH tour. Unfortunately, I can’t say I’m surprised.

  • http://a a

    When they get out of money, they’ll do a reunion tour.

  • GUNNER

    Axl’s the best … n’ fuck the rest

  • http://gnr4ever jungle fever

    fuck you you in significant little festering worm you honestly think your correct you think you know gnr you are getting second hand info and it will happen sone so fuck you

  • http://www.iamcorrect.com lono

    Wow. I mean… wow. That was out-fucking-standing comment work. Without dwelling on the grammar errors, let’s look at your point. You note that
    1. I thought I was correct
    2. I think I know G$R
    3. I am a festering worm
    4. the re-union will happen regardless of what second hand info I have

    Good stuff, all. Let’s look at these point by point now. Firstly, yes… I do think I am correct. Seriously, my web site is http://www.iamcorrect.com

    2. It is true, I do feel I know G$R. Certainly I could be wrong > in fact… that is the URL of my music only site http://www.maybeiamwrong.blogspot.com

    3. also true. I am a festering worm. True is true

    4. this is where you lost me. I am arguing that in time the band will get back together for economic reasons. You too seem to be arguing the band will get back together.

    So, there really isn’t any argument here. I am a festering worm with delusions of granduer. Well told!

  • kyle

    they should do a surprise show for the superbowl this or next year, it would be amazing, and after that they should go on tour making sure to hit me here in indiana

  • Jake

    I miss Guns N’ Roses.That band was so cool.My first favorite person would Slash.Then W.Axl Rose.Then That guy with yhe black hair.Then the twins.I really wish they would get back together.So I can rub it in my cousins face.And say,”Guns N’Roses is better than Ac Dc.”But I can’t do that for awhile.I really miss you guys.
    Just hearing your name makes me get pumped up.I love the song”Welcome to the Jungle.”

  • http://www.myspace.com/raventhewicked Raven

    It is almost imperative that Guns and Roses get back together.
    They were so good, and itt’s not fair to any of their fans.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love Slash to a slightly ridiculous extent, but it seems to me that he should take not all, but some of the blame for this “musical differences” thing.
    He didn’t want to change the style of music, but sometimes change is necessary to keep a crowd, and show everybody that they could expand their “playing style” range. Where is Slash now? In my opinion, failing massively with a contemporary band. They wouldn’t of lost all of their devoted fans because of a bad album or something. I mean look at Panic at the disco. They tried to change with their new cd, pretty.odd, or whatever it is called, and we all know that it’s not working too well, but they still have loyal bands who won’t stop listening to them, even if it is the older stuff. Whos to say gnr couldn’t of pulled of a change in style?
    No use reminiscing, hopefully they can just get over this and come back together because Velvet revolver isn’t happening for me, and as for the “fake gnr” I’m not even going to go low enough to listen to any music they produce.

  • steve

    they are now there makin a new album

    it shud b out befor xmas

  • cp

    wow

    There are so many errors and facts that you have got wrong in this article it is appalling.

    1. You have actually heard most of Chinese Democracy. You mean the stuff that has leaked out. Because no one has heard most of the album save, Sebastian Bach.

    2. You claim that all bands will reunite. Van Halen reunion tour did not feature the oringal lineup, nor does the Smashing Pumpkins reunion.

    3. There is no way in hell that the rest of the band would play songs that on Chinese Democracy and promote that CD.

    4. Do you really know that Axl has to recoup costs that the record company made? Are you privy to his contract with Sanctuary Records – who bought the rights to GNR songs from MCA/Geffen?

    5. Despite the fact that Izzy stradlin toured with GNR he hates the road and if he dosent even tour to suport the 8 Cd’s he has released it is unlikely he will return for a reunion.

    6. None of them need the money. Especially Izzy who wrote 50% of GNR’s songs.

  • Alistair Papali

    I honestly hope what you say happens. However, I have an inkling, just an inkling, that Chinese Democracy might just be a success. That said I somehow do not like the new GNR. What it was with Slash and and the rest was what made it amazing. I say this to everyone I discuss the band with, the combination of Axl’s vocals and Slash’s guitar really put them on the map. Long live GNR (the old one) i hope.

  • kaleb

    i hope they get back togehter.i think their hits will be paradise city,sweet child of mine,welcome 2 the jungle,and knockin on heavis door.ACDC will start back touring October 31, 2008.

    -Kaleb GUNS N ROSES ROCK

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTZ6olWMPOM&feature=email Mark

    I hope they get back together, that will be super cool, there is a guy in Youtube that sounds like axl rose even wrote his own song for them

  • anthony

    i was at gnr/metalica/faith no more in buffalo ny june 1992.it was one of the best times i ever had at an outdoor concert.it measured up to ozzy,motley crue,and ac/dc shows. axel did a good job and the music sounded great.i’ve been a gnr fan 20years and would love to think adler could still rock the drums but after seeing him in rehab i don’t see that happening.

  • Jessica Rose

    mm… I hope you are so right and they do reunite..I bought Chinese Democracy and like you said it wasnt GREAT!! just good. It’s AXLS only way… and about SLASH.. i love slash to death.. but remember that the guns would have never been so succesful if it werent for AXLS amazing voice. …..
    and IZZY has a great part in it too.. so its not all about SLASH..

    also DUFF has put alot into it too…

  • Gonçalo

    well……Izzy,Slash,Duff,Addler and Axl, were the graetest, but they finished.GUNS N’ ROSES FINISH. that it was realy realy bad. but, now, tjis new guns n’ roses are a SHIT. Axl is like a rastafari with that air, but he sings rock. When those 5 guys sing together, that it is going to be the best day of the world.

    GUNS N’ ROSES

  • fabio999

    If axl, slash duffy and just the good GNR would listen to this reunite please please please please please there just to good with those together when i look at a clip of them i think why split up? it was a great time right?