Above is the headline over a wonderful piece by Chris Nelson that appeared in Monday’s New York Times, about Axl Rose’s public trashing of his former bandmate Buckethead as he announced Buckethead’s forced departure from Guns N’ Roses.
How is it possible that I, who consider myself somewhat informed, did not know of the existence of the person called “Buckethead” until I read the article?
About Buckethead, in case there is one other person among the six billion walking our planet who doesn’t know who he is: he was born Brian Carroll, and never appears in public without a wig, a mannequin mask, and a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on his head.
I guess PETA won’t be using him in its next campaign, huh?
Even though Axl cancelled Guns N’ Roses’ upcoming May 30 appearance in Lisbon because of Buckethead’s having been fired, the group’s doing just fine.
Last week, their “Greatest Hits” album made its debut on the Billboard 200 albums chart at No. 3, having sold 169,000 copies.
You GO Axl and Buckethead! Your separate ways, alas.
Here’s the full Times story:
In the 11 years since Guns N’ Roses last released an album, fans have often wondered what Axl Rose, the group’s reclusive lead singer, has been doing. Apparently, attending how-to workshops for publicists has not been on the agenda.
Last week, Mr. Rose issued an emotional and apologetic news release through the Business Wire to explain the recent departure of the new Guns N’ Roses guitarist, Buckethead, and the group’s subsequent cancellation of its May 30 appearance at the Rock in Rio concert in Lisbon.
“During his tenure with the band Buckethead has been inconsistent and erratic in both his behavior and commitment – despite being under contract – creating uncertainty and confusion and making it virtually impossible to move forward with recording, rehearsals and live plans with confidence.”
“Regardless of anyone’s opinions of me and what I may or may not deserve,” the release added, “clearly the fans, individuals in this band, management, crew and our support group do not deserve this type of treatment.”
Mr. Rose’s approach was not embraced by his newfound colleagues. Public relations professionals usually advise clients to distance themselves from bad news by letting a representative or corporate entity break the information, said Bob Merlis, who worked in publicity at Warner Brothers Records for almost 30 years, and whose firm M.f.h. handles media contacts for John Mellencamp and others.
Lois Najarian, a publicist with Dan Klores Communications whose clients include Prince, called the dirty laundry Mr. Rose talked about in the release “a cringe factor.”
“The criticism that Axl gets when he does bold stuff is that he’s showing some sort of instability or lack of reason,” Ms. Najarian said. Still, she said some fans appreciate Mr. Rose’s candidness.
Few have ever doubted Mr. Rose follows a quirky muse. He has spent more than a decade working on his group’s next record, and alienated his original bandmates in the process. The group’s 2002 tour was nixed after Mr. Rose did not show up for concerts in Vancouver and Philadelphia.
Buckethead himself is no stranger to eccentricity. Born Brian Carroll, Buckethead never appears in public without a wig, a mannequin mask and a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on his head.
Despite Guns N’ Roses’ travails, the public’s appetite for its releases has not abated. Last week, the group’s “Greatest Hits” album made its debut on the Billboard 200 albums chart at No. 3, having sold 169,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.