If you’ve lived above ground the past few weeks, you know that Guns N’ Roses is getting back together. This is something that I never thought would happen in my lifetime. I *almost* saw GNR back in 1992 when they co-headlined stadiums with Metallica, but alas, it didn’t happen (my dad said we’d go next time GNR would hit town, because, he reasoned, with GNR at the peak of their powers, they’d certainly return). Anyway, as a person who saw Axl and the Roses in 2006 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC and at the Forum in 2011, I can’t wait to see the real deal. Yesterday, my bud Josh Chesler gave his reasons why Guns N’ Roses shouldn’t reunite. Here are my reasons why they should.
10. Watching Axl and Slash grit their teeth
This is something that hasn’t happened. Ever. Just reference his epic Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Facebook post bashing his former bandmates. To see a smiling Axl looking at Slash and vice versa and possibly smiling, will be amazing to see
9. Fast forwarding to nostalgia
Seriously, name a single person who wanted to see GNR hit the inevitable mediocre stage of their career. It happens to every great band, just look at Aerosmith who would be the closest model. By jumping right to this stage of their career, we skipped the inevitable bashing of whether they should stop and are at where we’d be anyway.
8. The rest of the lineup
If it’s the Appetite era band, fantastic! If it’s the Use Your Illusion era band, sure. As Axl’s pal, keyboardist Dizzy Reed will likely be involved and is the only constant since 1993. That said, regardless of whichever incarnation GNR will be, it won’t be the post-1999 one, which is a victory in itself (more on that later).
7. Will they/won’t they show up?
Ah yes, the one question that will always plague GNR. The excitement of whether or not Axl will show up at the beginning of the allotted time for the Coachella set will be amazing. The anticipation will build and it won’t be a true Guns N’ Roses show until Axl is 20 minutes late at minimum. No matter what the band says, until they’re on stage, no amount of money will take away from the excitement of whether or not they’ll show. Hell, that may be even better than the show itself.
6. The set list
Yes, they'll play the hits, but what if they they decide to bust out “Dust N Bones,” “Pretty Tied Up” or anything from The Spaghetti Incident? etc. Now THAT would be something. Nothing is out of the realm of possibility here. Even the band’s lesser known songs are better than many bands’ best.
5. The fans
To see the Coachella faithful eschewing their neon bro-wear or female Native American inspired gear for black leather will be something in the 100-plus degree heat. Seeing real rock fans at the most anticipated reunion possibly of all time will be a nice change of pace from Coachella. While the idea of the Outkast reunion was nice, it pales in comparison to this.
4. This could happen
Who knows if Axl still has that in him, but boy that would be something if he did.
3. The epic show
Knowing these stringent set times and GNR’s penchant for playing for nearly three hours or so will test the festival’s limits and patience. Buuuuut, once you hear the opening riffs to “Welcome to the Jungle,” you’ll forget about the surrounding bullshit and go absolutely nuts. Oh, and who doesn’t think these shows won’t be epic? This may be a cash grab to an extent, but if half of the energy put into the Use Your Illusion shows is present, then it could be the set of the year.
2. It won’t be Axl and the Roses
While people love to shit on Chinese Democracy, it wasn’t the disaster some remember. It had some solid songs, but nothing that approached those great years. The tours, though, were good, too good that showed that the sterile nature of Chinese Democracy saw a singer and band that lost its soul. The grittiness of the classic band may not return (see Van Halen w/Roth), but at least the latest version won’t be a series of mercenaries. Put it this way: would you rather Slash or Robin Finck, Buckethead or, gasp, DJ Ashba play the opening notes to “Sweet Child O' Mine?” That's what I thought.
1. Bucket list
C’mon, the 11-year-old in me has wanted to see this band since the beginning of my music listening days. Regardless of how good or bad they sound, for selfish reasons, I can say that I saw the coulda-woulda-shouldabeen American Rolling Stones that weren’t meant to be. If you're reading this, the same goes for you as well. Besides, everyone wanted it to happen, so here we are.