Friends for a Change

[Hämeen Sanomat Kesä 2017; 16; ’Taas vaihteeksi ystäviä,’ Timo Isoaho]


Guns N’ Roses, with bassist Duff McKagan, vocalist Axl Rose, and guitarist Slash, will be bringing their Not In This Lifetime world tour to the Kantola Event Park on July 1st.


* The American band will take the stage of the Kantola Event Park having settled their feuds.

* Times they change: A few years ago the musicians of Guns N’ Roses were still wishing each other dead.

Chinese Democracy

I consider Slash a cancer that’s better removed. There’s zero possibility of me having anything to do with Slash other than by ambush.

This was in the year 2009, when the vocalist of the mighty Guns N’ Roses, Axl Rose, gave fierce statements about his former bandmate turned nemesis Saul ”Slash” Hudson.

The highly unpredictable GNR leading man, born William Bruce Rose Jr., was full of self-esteem in those days. He didn’t need to care about anyone – or so he thought at the time.

The reason for his boastfulness was clear: Rose and his lackeys had just finished work on the 14-year, 12-million-dollar production of the studio album Chinese Democracy. The reality of the finished album not being worth the incredibly long wait, did not bother Rose at all.

Tyranny and dictatorship

Guns N’ Roses was formed in 1985, and has sold over 100 million records. The band’s third central character, Michael Andrew ”Duff” McKagan, was no longer on bad terms with Rose during the release of Chinese Democracy. On the contrary, Rose expressed interest in possibly working together with McKagan in the future.

In the late 1990s, Rose and McKagan didn’t want anything to do with each other. Whereas Slash had already stormed out of GNR, McKagan suffered Rose’s ”tyranny and dictatorship” until 1997. At last, McKagan called the singer out: ”I don’t like your behavior and how you lead this band.”

Obviously Rose held a slightly different view. McKagan was kicked out of the band.

The news bomb

Years went by, into the 2000s. Axl Rose ran GNR on his own whim, and band members came and went. Slash and McKagan kept busy with their own bands and projects.

The icy terms between Rose and Slash only seemed to get colder. Often it seemed like they were getting at each other just because.

However, a miracle occurred, and legions of fans were elated when, in Spring 2015, Slash dropped the bomb.

– I am once again friends with Axl, the guitarist told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

Slash didn’t outright say he was returning to Guns N’ Roses, but it could be read between the lines.

Truckloads of money

Why, then, did the two archenemies bury their respective bloodied hatchets? The reasons aren’t entirely clear, but according to Slash’s close friend Marc Canter, it could have been because of a woman all along. Canter revealed that Rose was willing to forget the years of feuding immediately after Slash divorced his wife, manager Perla Ferrer. Axl could never stand Ferrer.

The superstars may claim whatever they want, but one motivator for working together has to be money. And there is plenty of that in this business. GNR’s current ’Not In This Lifetime’ world tour has made around 250 million euros so far. Who would say no to those numbers?

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