No Better Time for GNR to Bury The Hatchet and Reunite
When The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame made the announcement that Guns N’ Roses had earned their spot as part of the Class of 2012 with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Beastie Boys, the big question immediately that came to mind is if the original GNR lineup can find their way to the stage for the induction ceremony. The odds of Axl Rose, Slash and the crew coming together seem very long indeed, but a full on reunion for this group could lead to lots of press, re-found interest, and of course money!
GNR has earned this honor with the strength of their impact on rock music between 1987 and 1994 – a short period in time for a band in the Hall of Fame but the numbers back up their case. Their debut album Appetite For Destruction is considered by many critics as one of the biggest releases from the 80s, and has made many lists for the Best Album of All Time. Sales eclipsed over 18 Million upon its initial release in the USA, and to date has accumulated worldwide sale of about 30 Million. Songs like “Welcome To The Jungle”, “Sweet Child Of’ Mine” and “Paradise City” were Top-10 hits and now are classics almost 25 years later.
G N’ R Lies followed in 1988 with a Top-5 radio smash with “Patience” and sales over 5 Million in America, then came the band’s double release of Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II in Sept. of 1991. Both released on the same day, both albums sold over 7 Million here in the states, and to date each release has sold about 20 Million worldwide. The 2 releases produced 7 Top-10 Rock hits, making the group the biggest rock band in the world in the early 90s.
Chinks in Guns n’ Roses armor were being exposed during this time as Axl Rose was drinking more, not finishing shows (I can remember being at his show at the Meadowlands in north Jersey where he did a few songs and called it a night), and having it all bite the band in the ass in August of 1992 in Montreal.
GNR had the chance to prove their greatness at Olympic Stadium when a freak accident happened to Metallic frontman James Hetfield suffered severe burns after stepping too close to a pyrotechnic blast. Metallica was forced to cancel the second hour of the show. Guns could have saved the show, however the shortened time between sets did not allow for adequate tuning of stage monitors, resulting in members of G N’ R not being able to hear themselves. In addition, Rose claimed that his throat hurt, causing the band leaving early and having fans rioting outside in downtown Montreal.
This incident was probably the beginning of the downward slide of the biggest rock band of the time. By the time The Spaghetti Incident came out in late 1993, GNR was coming to the end of a run that was ending too soon. By 1995, original members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum had recorded their last song with Axl Rose (“Sympathy For The Devil”) – then there was just spots of Axl with a revamped GNR lineup, shows here and there, lots of cancellations, and an album that took 14 years to complete.
In 2008, The Chinese Democracy came out to positive reviews, scoring two Top-5 Rock hits, and sales over 4 Million worldwide. The band can still tour and do well, but now with their spot in rock history secured with their spot in the Hall of Fame, the time could not be more perfect for the hatchet be buried.
A Guns N’ Roses appearance with Axl, Slash, Duff, Matt and Izzy Stradlin performing will be the major highlight of the induction ceremony. The door would be open to a highly profitable tour that would set these men up for life, but there are some issues.
There are major questions if Axl and Slash can even be in the same room together, making people wonder whether one will not show up for the induction ceremony. By putting issues aside, the money could help Axl who supposedly spent $13,000,000 just to get his last album out.
Slash is considered by many “the greatest guitarist of all time”. Work is not a problem for Slash as he seems to pop up when you least expect it, but nothing has matched the fame he acquired in Guns n’ Roses.
Money may not be a motivator for Duff – his wealth management firm (Meridian Rock) has made him very successful financially. He still loves to play – will that passion be enough for him?
The logical thing for GNR to do is see how The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, The Police, and even New Kids On The Block thrived in a reunion tour and album setting. Fans are always hopeful, and the table is now set – who’s biting?