Friday, December 31, 2010

Camp Freddy to Rock New Year’s Eve with Special Guests

If you’re in the Los Angeles-area Friday night, the Rock 'n' Roll place to be has to be The Roxy.

Camp Freddy are on hand to help ring in the New Year; the band is made up of Matt Sorum (Velvet Revolver), Billy Morrison (Billy Idol), Donovan Leitch, Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) and Chris Wyse (The Cult).

Camp Freddy have played a hat trick of killer shows this month at the club, as part of their annual Christmas residency.

New Year’s Eve, Camp Freddy will crank things up ten notches with a huge lineup of special guests (or is that a special lineup of huge guests?), including Lemmy from Motorhead, Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols, Billy Duffy of The Cult, Gilby Clarke, Cherie Currie of The Runaways, Franky Perez of Scars On Broadway, and ex-Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler.

Camp Freddy regular Dave Navarro won’t be on hand for the festivities ... but you can be:

General Admission tickets are $60.25 each. All you can drink tickets are also available for $111.50 (well brands) and $214.00 (premium brands) each. For further details, call The Roxy Box Office at 310-278-9457.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Reminder of What Was Once There

"I got the tattoo first, I had a friend design it because I just felt that no matter what happens with this band, where it went, what we sold or (if we) broke up, changed, whatever, or (got) any other members, that at that time, it was the most important thing.

And it's like, I like tattoos and I wanted something that would always remind me of what was once there, a symbol of it. And so, I got this cross tattoo here. And then Geffen liked it so much, we decided to use it for a cover."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Legendary Guitarist Slash Releases ‘iTunes Session’ EP

icon vs. icon
Legendary guitarist Slash (Velvet Revolver, Guns N' Roses) has just released iTunes Session, a six-song collection recorded exclusively for iTunes. The effort, which features Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy, contains the following tracks:

1) Back to Cali
2) Communication Breakdown (Led Zeppelin cover)
3) Fall to Pieces
4) Rocket Queen
5) Starlight
6) Sucker Train Blues

You can purchase the EP at this location.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Duff Says He Snorted His Body Weight In Cocaine!

via Blabbermouth
Duff had sinus surgery on December 14 to repair his torn and damaged sinuses left non-functional as a complication from years of cocaine use.

In the latest installment of his column, which appears on Reverb at, McKagan writes, "From sometime in 1989 until about November 1993, I snorted perhaps my body weight in varying degrees of good, bad, and straight-up shitty blow. I don't recommend this to any of you young readers. I was NOT such a smart 20-something. Nope, just an ordinary drug-addict.

"I remember trying to glamorize all my drug and alcohol use back then. I would romanticize my life and my struggle as something noble and just. I was an ARTIST, maaan! I NEEDED to dull myself to certain inputs or else my art would suffer. Yep, before I knew it, I was strung-out and terrified. Crappy stuff.

"Someone asked me about this stuff a while back, and 'what are your kids gonna say when they start to party?' Some people ask me these things in an almost bellicose way, as if suffering through my kids' drug-abuse issues would be just payback for what I have done to myself. Hopefully, I was a big enough idiot in my time that I have filled the dumb-ass quota for my whole family. God, I hope so."

Duff issued a statement last week addressing rumors that he had gone back to drug use, following the news that he had sinus surgery. McKagan wrote online, "Thank you all for the very nice well-wishes regarding my sinus surgery recovery. I do want to make it clear for those of you who may be wondering . . . The surgery was a result of scar tissue build-up from my cocaine use which ended sixteen years ago. I have not relapsed on cocaine."

McKagan told The Pulse Of Radio not long ago what the best part of sobriety was for him. "Waking up every day," he said. "Waking up and being able to have a cup of coffee and be aware of what's going on around me and being comfortable in my own skin, and being curious about what's gonna happen that day. Simply, just waking up is the best thing."

McKagan said in a recent interview that when he moved back to his hometown of Seattle in 1993, before getting clean and sober, he was in such bad shape that he didn't think he'd live much longer. He recalled. "The house had a basketball court and an old, leaky roof. I never thought I'd use the basketball court. And I remember thinking that the cedar-shake roof that I put on the house, rated to last 25 years, would outlast me. Today it's looking old and somewhat worse for the wear. I guess I do too. To hell with how I look from the outside — I'm giddy just to be here."

Gilby Clarke: "South America Has The Best Music Fans In The World"

via Blabbermouth
Fan-filmed video footage of Gilby Clarke's December 8, 2010 performance at Petecos in Buenos Aires, Argentina can be viewed below.

Clarke has issued the following recap of his just-completed South American tour:

"South America — what a great trip this was...

"It didn't start out great when I got a call the week before that Dave Langguth (drums) broke his ankle and couldn't make the tour. I called Dennis [Morehouse] and he changed some gigs around and was able to do it. So off to Paraguay we went...

"Now I've played Paraguay before; the fans were great and the production team was first rate.

"On these tours, we always play with rental gear and my band has pretty simple requests when it comes to backline, but in the States they never have what we need and always have an excuse why they can't provide it. So what a surprise that Paraguay had the best gear of the whole tour. Brand new Marshalls, classic SVT's and a killer kit.

"Next up was Argentina for three shows and a house party for a radio listener winner. I knew it would be special when I got off the plane and there was a welcoming party of girls.

"The El Teatro show kicked ass. I met the local Hell's Angels chapter president and my doppelganger. But the second show we went on at 2:30 a.m. at Petecos and that pissed me off.

"After the Rosario show, we had to drive a couple hours back to Buenos Aires to catch our flight to Brazil where I met the American ambassador and did a meet-and-greet with the boys and girls club in Sao Paulo. The show was another packed house and good thing, cuz' last time it was half-filled.

"We stayed up all night again to catch our flight to Chile, so we were a lil' beat when we arrived. The promoters took pity on us, since we've been up for two days straight and let us cancel the press conference.

"The show in Santiago was crazy... I hadn't played there since 1994 when I opened for AEROSMITH, so I was surprised when the show sold out. Of course, we only had a couple hours sleep again to catch our flight to Bolivia...

"I know this sounds like a broken record, but I didn't book the flights, my agent did, and they should know you play at 1 a.m. in South America, so don't book flights at 7 a.m.!

"Anyway, Bolivia was killer, except I could barely breathe 'cuz of the altitude. The mayor gave me a certificate and the key to the city as a token of their appreciation. (that we rocked the house) so I'm sure we'll be back soon.

"South America has the best music fans in the world and are very passionate about good music. Can't wait for the next tour!"

Clarke suffered three broken bones in his left foot/ankle and a broken bone in his right foot in a hit-and-run accident on his motorcycle on January 10. He had his second surgery in early February during which "they put in a rod, plate and lots of screws," he wrote on his blog.


010 confirmed again that GNR are a far cry from the iconic rockers they once were. Axl Rose and his hired clowns arrived late for their Reading Festival appearance. When organisers pulled the plug on their performance because they over-ran, paranoid big baby Axl staged a sit-in and slated organisers. Their arena tour also started late. Apparently Axl needs a nap before shows these days. Bring back Slash and Duff.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Rose is Still A Rose
When Axl Rose and the boys burst onto the stage on Thursday night in Abu Dhabi, you could have already worked out that they were going to rock Abu Dhabi. What you couldn't have known, was just minutes before they set the stage alight, legendary rocker Rose was sipping tea while chatting to tabloid!.

"We better get out there before they tear the house down," said Rose tipping his head acknowledging the gathered crowd cranking up the volume.

"I'll be blaming you. You know that," he added as the entire group broke into laughter and headed off for the show.

According to his manager, Doc Mcghee, Rose has not given an interview for 14 years.

"I don't know what you've done, but you did something right," he said expressing his utter surprise that the red-haired singer was willing to talk.


The American rock star has been notoriously media-shy (read anti-media) since the implosion of the original band — the hitmakers behind seminal rock songs such as Sweet Child O'Mine and Paradise City. Rose even wrote the song Get in the Ring about his disgust for the media and all the lies he claims journalists and publications printed over the years.

But this week was different and as he politely asked for "any kind of tea" from a member of his crew, he settled into his chair and prepared to open up.

As with every good story there's always a bit of drama. You see this story almost wasn't told because while tabloid! knew Rose was in town, it was also made clear, initially, there would be no interview (as has been the case for the past 14 years).
You can therefore understand why a desperate chase across Yas Island (in flip flops) swiftly followed when "that'"call came in to say he said "yes".

"There is a lotta rockin people out there," said Rose looking almost nervous [replace the word rockin with any swear word to get the full effects of the interview]. "Oops, is it bad to say that?" he added before quickly changing the subject.

"I played in the Middle East once before," continued Rose needing no prompt. "It was for about 50,000. It was insane. We've been trying to come play again since so tonight is gonna be wow. A lot of rockets and bombs. We're excited we try to go all out," he said ahead of the sell-out gig, the last of the Flash Entertainment-organised Yas Arena Show Weekends.


"For me one of the really cool things is I don't have to get on at everybody in the band. Hey do this, do that, you know. Because they're excited. Everybody takes a certain amount of pride in what they do. Plus they all get on at each other about it anyway. Everybody goes out there and tries to give everything they can. And we stay out there a couple hours more, you know, until we feel the crowd is happy. Or until we feel like we've done a good job. It's kinda like going to the gym or something, you know, you don't leave until you feel like you're supposed to."

There's a slight pause before all four members burst out laughing. "It's just hard to get in the gym," Rose eventually concedes. "Yeah they won't let me smoke on the treadmill," added guitarist DJ Ashba still laughing.

South America, Asia and just off the back of more than 40 gigs across Europe, Guns N' Roses is off to Russia next saying the diversity of an audience never fails to amaze them.

"I think it's a lot to do with the material from the past and a hell of a lot to do with the heart that was put into it then," said Rose his fingers covered with giant rings, each with a new plaster covering the finger underneath.


"But if we weren't putting the heart into it now, if I wasn't putting my heart into it, the fans, they're not gonna let me get away with it. We have to live up to something, have to work a bit harder because you're living up to the legend or a myth or whatever," he said, deep in thought. "It's more pressure when you're playing to live up to myth."

Guns N' Roses formed in 1985, a time when Rose insists things were very different when it came to restrictions regarding performances.

"In the club days, like '88 and '89, you could fall off stage and that was OK. Then it turned into I can't dive off but other bands can. I'd be doing everything I can not to fall off. I always see the tape on stage. The glow in the dark tape on the edge. I remember when they didn't have it at the LA Coliseum when we opened for The Stones. When the lights went down, I went down."

Multi-cultural crowd

Stopping to listen to the fans getting progressively louder, Rose said he was looking forward to playing to a multi-cultural crowd.

"The diverse crowd aspect is actually the most interesting part for me because I think that pretty much sums up why the Guns catalogue has stood the test of time," he said, still with an ear on the fans.

"It crosses genres, it crosses religious lines, you know. It's music that people can relate to. That there is such a diverse crowd out there it makes it a lot of fun."
Looking up from under the dark lenses of his aviators, Rose broke a smile. "We've crossed a few lines for certain," he said. "And we'll continue that."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2010: A Year In Review

Another GN'R Rollercoaster Year

- January:
As Axl tore into his latest world tour and into a new decade, the first controversy was not far around the corner in what proved to be one of the most eventful GN'R years in history. Axl made his way through Canada, allegedly banning any Slash gear or paraphernalia from the shows. This led to a war of words between the fans and eyewitness accounts, and would ultimately lead to Dexter's return.

- February:
The North American leg of the tour comes to a close with Axl exploding back onto the forums to request madison's presence in the ring. Madison was later de-modded from her position at mygnr, and inter-forum debates began about the morality and fairness of the rant. You can still view it here. Questions were raised over the motives, Axl and Beta's influence and whether or not priviledges were given to Eric Romano(admin of mygnr) in return for madison's removal, though he claims the two incidents were unrelated. Axl also announces two surprise acoustic gigs, and following these shows announces the partnership of Guns N' Roses and Doc McGee management, an annoucement that Doc McGee would later challenge.

- March:
South American Leg proceeds, and proves to be the most successful of the 2010 tour. World-renowned music video director Dale "Rage" Resteghini announced his new collaboration with Axl Rose, to document and shoot stills for the band's current South American tour. The partnership fell apart, with Richard Fortus citing that it simply didn't work out. Meanwhile, Slash releases the first single "By the Sword" from his solo album. March was rounded off by two more major annoucements. One being that Guns would be headlining this years Reading & Leeds Festival, and the other that former manager Irving Azoff would be suing Axl Rose.

- April:
A lackluster month for Axl as Guns play three shows in Central America. On the other side of the fence, Slash releases his solo record and embarks on the talk show circuit. Duff McKagan appears onstage with Jane's Addiction for the first time.

- May:
Axl Rose slams Irving Azoff with a counter-suit worth $5 million, claiming that the former manager tried to implement a scheme to force him to reunite with the original Guns N' Roses band members and, as part of the plot, failed to properly promote the Chinese Democracy album, lied about a prospective Van Halen super tour and mishandled the band's tour dates. Axl ends the month with the beginning of the European tour. GunsNFNRoses was founded in this month.

- June:
Both Axl and Slash shred through their respective tours, with Slash announcing the first in a line of live albums.

- July:
Guns take a summer break from touring, though announce their only USA appearance of the year in Sturgis.

- August:
Widespread panic was caused in mid-August as an Axl tweet reading "All upcoming Guns N' Roses dates are officially cancelled. Please contact your place of purchase for any refunds," threw the tour, the band, and the fans into chaos. Speculation led to rumours of Bumblefoot's departure following a dispute over late starts, particularly at Sturgis, though this was later denied by Bumblefoot himself. The camp claimed that no shows were cancelled, and that Axl's twitter had been hacked. This was never proven, and only one tweet has been made since. Guns have their set cut short at Reading after a late start, despite prior warning from the festivals promoters, leading to an onstage sit-down protest. Pro-shot footage from the show was shown on the BBC for the songs "Welcome to the Jungle," "This I Love," "Street of Dreams" and "November Rain."

- September:
September kicked off with one of the biggest incidents of the year, now known as the Dublin Incident. When the band appeared on stage nearly two hours late they were welcomed with a chorus of disgruntled boos from the crowd, leading a few members of the audience to throw plastic cups and bottles towards the stage. Axl stopped the show at the beginning of the second song to warn the audience, "one more bottle and we go home." Less than twenty minutes later another bottle found its way on stage and Axl kept his promise, storming off stage leaving the audience bewildered for over half an hour. Following an alleged dispute backstage with promoters, Axl eventually came back on stage and finished the set, glued to the spot into the early hours of the morning.

- October:
In a rare positive story in 2010 for Guns, Duff McKagan joined the band onstage in London for four songs, becoming only the second Gunner to do so (Izzy Stradlin performed with the band in 1993 and 2006). The surprise sparked reunion rumours, and was deemed one of this year's feel-good Guns stories.

- November:
Confusion over the new album is further emphasized when Dj Ashba told fans they would not have to wait long, and that things were definately in the works. However Bumblefoot soon responded that fans should not hold their breath, and that they have not written any new material as a band. By the end of the month, Axl sued the makers of Guitar Hero for $20 million.

- December:
*under construction* Tour ends in Abu Dhabi.

(original article here)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rock Hall Says GN'R Will Be Inducted in 2012!/futurerocklgnds/status/15066372358807552

Duff Says He Quits Jane's Addiction to Work on Book & Other Band

Q: What happened with Jane's Addiction?

I do believe that I have answered this one somewhere out there in an interview. But to be sure, I will touch on it again.

Last year at about this time, I was asked by Perry if I wouldn't want to come in and lend a hand in the writing of a new Jane's record. I was and AM indeed honored.

We started that process, and the rumors started to swirl, ebb, and flow to the MAX! I was just trying to keep my head down the whole time and do that band as much service as I could. They are great and gentle men, all of them. A nicer group of dudes would be hard to find.

Alas, the time came for me to depart and get back to my thing, which is Loaded all the time, writing my book, developing a new business, and the ever-present hunt for a VR singer. The press blew the whole thing out of proportion to begin with, and in the end I was left to try and explain my way out of a situation that was just so simple. Creative guys . . . getting creative.

Seattle Weekly

Adler's Appetite to Release 2 New Singles Christmas Eve

via Blabbermouth
Adler's Appetite will release two new singles on December 24 via iTunes.

More information will be made available soon.

Adler's Appetite entered the studio last month to begin recording its new album with Cinderella drummer Fred Coury producing.

Duff's Surgery Not due to Relapse

via Blabbermouth
Duff McKagan is undergoing surgery on his sinuses after he developed a hole (perforation) in the cartilage of his nasal septum as a complication from years of cocaine use. His wife Susan writes on her Twitter profile, "[I] am thankful and blessed my man is alive today! Kids, don't do drugs! Say a prayer for Duff as he's getting surgery on his sinuses (a hole the size of a quarter from years of abuse). We must live and learn how lucky we are for our health and family and friends. Love you, Duff."

Duff was forced to comment on speculation he’s back on drugs – after news led people to believe he’d started using cocaine again. He insists he hasn’t started using again, and has thanked fans for their goodwill.

“Thank you all for the very nice well-wishes regarding my sinus surgery recovery.

I do want to make it clear for those of you who may be wondering… The surgery was a result of scar-tissue build-up from my cocaine use which ended sixteen years ago.

I have not relapsed on cocaine.”

Susan McKagan says that Duff has "Third Degree" burns on inside of his nose.

Duff revealed in a 2004 interview that he was forced to give up his hard-living lifestyle after encountering serious pancreas problems. He said, "I was drinking a gallon of vodka a day, doing cocaine, any pill I could get my hands on, heroin. And on May 10 1994, my pancreas exploded. The pain was like in the war movies, where they say, 'Kill me. Put me out of my misery.' I got out of the hospital, and I started riding my mountain bike; I was shaking so bad I didn't know what to do. The first day I rode for, like, eight hours. I didn't want to be static, or else I would think about drinking. Then I met Benny The Jet, my sensei. He saved my life, got me kickboxing. It's pretty much the most intense workout there is. I face everything in the ring that you face in life. Now I work out six days a week — kickboxing, lifting weights... I'm an extreme person. When I did drugs and drank, I was extreme, and when I go to the gym, it's not just to fuck around."

In a 2009 interview with Classic Rock Revisited, Duff stated about his sobriety, "I had a relapse on pills in 2005. It came out of nowhere. It was because of all this bullshit. Xanax was prescribed for me. I was supposed to take one if I had a bad panic attack. I had them in my bag and that was my first mistake. I took one, and the next day, I took two. In only nine days, I was up to 22. That is what guys like . . I do."

Monday, December 13, 2010

"The General" Used as Live Intro for 4+ Years

"Leave Me Alone," "Seven," and "The General" could also feature on the new album. These three A-listed songs were worked on by Marco Beltrami, especially "Seven," which Marco deems as the best of the three songs. It has also been reported that Marco worked on a fourth track, "Thyme." However, this song was not worked on subsequent to Marco's work in October 2002. (Jeff Leeds)

Last year Brain had this song called "The General" that was really cool... (Dizzy Reed)

One of my favorite songs is this song called "The General, which is ... by far the heaviest metal tune I think ive ever heard Axl do, this slow, grinding riff with these high, piercing vocals, screaming vocals. [Axl] goes, "well, this comes out on the third record. It relates to this song, it's a trilogy, this goes with this lyrically." (Sebastian Bach)

[Sebastian Bach] says Rose told him that a slow, grinding track called "The General" is the sequel to "Estranged," that goes to the parable that Del James wrote of the trilogy. (Rolling Stone)

CD.COM: Could you tells us more about "The General"?

Axl Rose: You may have heard parts of it somewhere.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

25 Unforgettable Concerts

Guns N’ Roses – Dec. 5, 1991, Worcester Centrum – GN'R were just about the biggest band in the world when they hit the road for this troubled tour and this show marked their first without guitarist Izzy Stradlin who quit the tour a week earlier. Axl Rose, Slash and company were still on board however as they lived up to their legacy for tardiness by taking the stage an outrageous 85 minutes after their openers, Soundgarden finished. Guns N' Roses did end up playing two-and-a-half-hours once they arrived however, ending at nearly 1 AM and rocking through everything from "Welcome to the Jungle," to the final encore "Paradise City."

You can read the entire list here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Axl Rose Thanks MusicRadar for "Letting the People Speak"

Music Radar
Saturday December 11 saw Axl Rose speak out about MusicRadar's recent poll that saw him voted the greatest lead singer of all time.

The Guns N' Roses star beat off stiff competition from legendary rock frontmen like Freddie Mercury and Robert Plant, and on Saturday, a post from the official Guns N' Roses Facebook account said the following:

"Thank you for all of the support you give us day in day out. All you folks on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, the message boards that fight the good fight - we feel it and very much appreciate it - THANK YOU!. And special thanks to MusicRadar for holding the poll and letting people speak. - Axl"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

GN'R Ready to Rock Perth


The wait is finally over with Guns N' Roses set to rock the Perth Motorplex in Kwinana Beach tomorrow night and police say they are not expecting trouble.

Crews began transforming the drag strip into a stage on Wednesday and will complete it tomorrow morning with containers used to bring the production across the Nullarbor from Adelaide.

A spokeswoman for promoters Andrew McManus said about 12,000 fans were expected to flock to the Motorplex to get a taste of the band and enigmatic front man Axl Rose, who have sold more than 100 million albums since 1985.

She would not confirm rumours Rose would fly to the Motorplex by helicopter but said, “it was being seriously considered”.

Kwinana will be the last Australian concert date for the band’s Chinese Democracy tour.

Police will have a strong presence on the evening with 40 officers patrolling the venue and surrounding suburbs, including rail and traffic police, and officers posted at the gate and assisting security.

Kwinana Police officer-in-charge Trevor Troy said police were also considering using a booze bus and police van.

Senior Sergeant Troy, who will be among the police contingent, said he expected no repeat of a violent bikie brawl at the Motorplex in October, which left several Finks gang members in hospital.

“We expect the event to go smoothly, but anyone who behaves badly at the concert can expect us to act and charge them for their troubles,” he said.

“We will be mindful of the incident recently involving the outlaw motorcycle groups who came to loggerheads… we will have staff in the area and behind the scenes, at gates and in the vicinity to assist with security.”

Sen Sgt Troy said revellers should organise a designated driver, taxi or use public transport to get to and from the concert, as police would be tough on intoxicated drivers.

Hard rock bands KoRn and Shihad will also play at the concert.

A free bus will run to the concert from the Kwinana train station from 4:30pm and back following the concert.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Axl Rose Voted Greatest Frontman of All Time

By Music Radar readers
The public have spoken, and we can’t think of a more contentious choice for the greatest lead singer of all time.

Forget the moustachioed, cornrowed croaking caricature of recent years and think back to the late 1980s.

Axl Rose: dangerous, lean, angry, confrontational, controversial; the hotheaded, horny ginger stepchild of Steven Tyler and Robert Plant, a born rock star who made being fashionably late a lifestyle choice and started riots in the process.

In his autobiography, Slash recounts his first encounter with that legendary voice: “Izzy brought me a tape of his band… it sounded like they were playing deep inside a jet engine. But through the static din, way in the background, I heard something intriguing, that I believed to be their singer’s voice. It was hard to make out and his squeal was so high-pitched that I thought it might be a technical flaw in the tape. It sounded like the squeak that a cassette makes just before the tape snaps – except it was in key.”

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dj Ashba: "It'll be a Cold Day in Hell Before Axl & Slash Play Together Again"

via Blabbermouth
According to Dj Ashba, it will be a "cold day in hell" before former GN'R bandmates Axl Rose and Slash collaborate again, quashing rumors of a possible reunion.

When Becko of Australia's long-running rock radio station Triple M questioned Dj ahead of GN'R's show at the Sydney 500 V8 Supercars about the reports of Axl and Slash possibly getting back together, he shot it down. "That's completely false," Dj said. "I know Axl really, really well, and he basically said that it would be a cold day in hell. But, that being said, obviously I don't know the inside insight and I'm just happy to be in the shoes of an amazing, legendary guitar player. It's really a treat for me to stand on stage next to somebody like Axl and this band. Everybody in this band is just top-notch musicians."

As for "Axl Time," Rose's infamously late appearances onstage, which, according to Slash's autobiography, Slash, were one of the main reasons key Appetite for Destruction songwriter and former GN'R rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin left the band, Ashba claims that they have nothing to do with the enigmatic singer — they are the fault of the room-service staff at the band's hotels. "It isn't even Axl that's late, it's always our room service that's late. We're waiting to eat before we go on," Ashba joked.

Listen to a clip of Ashba's interview with Triple M below.

As previously reported, GN'R kicked off an Australian tour in the city of Townsville last Wednesday night (December 1) and immediately made both local residents and fans angry. According to local media reports, Townsville residents slammed the group for starting over an hour late and ending some 75 minutes after a curfew on a weeknight. Authorities were reportedly investigating whether the event's promoters should be punished with a fine for breaking the terms of their entertainment license.

The show ended past midnight with a fireworks display that left many pet owners in the area complaining that their pets were agitated.

As usual, blame for the delay seemed to rest at the feet of Axl Rose, who kept the audience and the rest of his band waiting.

One fan said, "Everybody knew Axl would come on late — it's at the stage now where you think you're lucky because it was only an hour or so. It was a great show. I don't have any complaints about that. But he needs to remember people have ordinary lives to go home to and have to get up in morning."

Another concertgoer added, "The atmosphere was fantastic but coming on so late meant the whole night was only average," while New Zealand's 3 News interviewed one fan who was upset at the lack of original members in the lineup, saying, "I think it's an imitation band — it is absolutely terrible."

Other fans complained that the expensive VIP packages they bought did not deliver all the perks that had been promised.

The venue, called Reid Park, has only recently been converted to a concert facility, angering local residents who were not made aware of the change.

The band and Rose drew fire earlier this year from UK promoters, who cut the band's set short when they came on late and broke curfew at two British festivals.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Caralho! Slash Announces South American Tour Dates!

March 28 - Mexico City, Mexico
March 31 - Caracas, Venezuela
April 2 - Bogota, Columbia
April 4 - Santiago, Chile
April 6 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
April 7 - Sao Paulo, Brazil
April 8 - Curitiba, Brazil
April 10 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
April 13 - San Juan, Puerto Rico

more Latin American dates announced soon ...

Outrageous & Oversized Personas: West & Rose

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West's latest release, had every reason to be a sales failure.

For one, the album was released on the Monday of Thanksgiving week, putting him up against new discs from Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, My Chemical Romance and Ke$ha. Yet it managed to land in the No. 1 spot all the same, shipping out 496,000 copies.

Tally is far short of his 900,000-plus first week sales of Graduation in 2007, as well as the 1 million-plus tally for Taylor Swift's Speak Now earlier this fall. But given his competition and 2010's reliably weakened sales numbers, it's not anything to sneeze at.

These sorts of sales are all the more remarkable considering West's recent habit of giving away music via weekly Web downloads; six of Fantasy's 12 tracks had been previously offered for free.

In addition to an extra day of retail and near-universal praise (the record attained an overall rating of 92 on Metacritic, making it the best-reviewed new album release of the year), West benefitted from an increasingly-common practice of slashing prices on big-name debuts.

Fantasy was offered in mp3 form for $3.99 all week on Amazon, and perhaps not coincidentally, the album moved 45% of its total numbers in digital form, giving it the fourth-best digital-sales week of any record ever. (Earlier this year, the Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend both rode Amazon's discounting to No. 1 debuts.)

But perhaps the most remarkable element of West's success is that it comes despite his battered public persona. From his high-profile dustups with public figures ranging from Swift to Matt Lauer and George W. Bush, plus an off-the-record calling-out from Barack Obama, no artist since Eminem or Guns N' Roses' Axl Rose has seen such success arrive concurrently with such wide public criticism.

West's career to date has obvious parallels to Rose's, and Fantasy is in many ways a descendant of Use Your Illusion, GN'R's 1991 double album set.

Like Rose, West began his career as an unusually relatable pop music figure. Raised middle class, with none of the street hustler background (real or imagined) that informs so many rappers, West instead spoke on such topics as the frustrations of college and working at the Gap. Yet both artists rapidly moved from these humble early personae into theretofore-unseen degrees of musical opulence and paranoid lyrical insularity.

Illusion was a monolith that ran over 2½ hours, featuring several heavily orchestrated epics. To promote the record, Rose insisted on shooting elaborate musicvids, culminating in a $4 million-budgeted clip for "Estranged."

While far shorter at 68 minutes, Fantasy nonetheless lists 44 additional musicians in the liner notes, ranging from string sections to Elton John, Jay-Z, Justin Vernon and Chris Rock in guest spots. There are several long musical interludes and codas, with album centerpiece "Runaway" stretching to more than nine minutes. In lieu of a traditional video, West instead directed a lavish, 35-minute art film incorporating his music. No rap record has ever been so elaborately produced.

Like Rose, West is obsessed with his own sense of persecution -- Fantasy includes direct attacks on the cast of SNL and the writers of South Park, while Rose famously challenged several music critics, by name, to public fisticuffs on Illusion. Combined with the record's detours into misogyny and unexpected political outbursts (both also Rose hallmarks), West has demanded considerable indulgence from fans accustomed to his radio-ready pop.

The excesses of Illusion eventually proved fatal to Guns N' Roses, as all original members save Axl subsequently left the band, leaving Rose to spend 17 years (and a reported $10 million) producing a proper follow-up. West has no questioning bandmates with which to contend, but it's also hard to see where he goes from here. One hopes the warning signs from pop's most famous prior over-reaching blacksheep will not go unnoticed.

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