In less than a week, Axl Rose has gone from the most famous shut-in since Howard Hughes to the busiest singer in show business. The notoriously edgy rocker is already the subject of steadily-building rumors that he will be taking over as lead singer for AC/DC, and now his similarly-rumored reunion with Guns N’ Roses has rocked their fanbase with the announcement of actual tour dates.
Can it be? After nearly 25 years of refusing to share a stage, could Rose and Slash and the rest of the original hell-raising hair band actually take fans back down to Paradise City — where the grass is green and the girls are pretty? With fingers crossed and breath held, here are ten things that could go horribly wrong.
In a word: Montreal
If you’re an old school G N’ R fan, you know exactly what that word means. If not, let us explain: In 1992, there were no two bands bigger than Guns N’ Roses and Metallica. When the heavyweights went out on tour, tickets had no problem being sold — however, the world’s most famous rock star had a bad reputation for being a hot-head, and frequently stormed off the stage for reasons ranging from audio difficulties to displeasure with the fans. During one infamous concert in Montreal, Metallica’s James Hetfield was sent to the hospital by malfunctioning pyrotechnics, followed by Rose storming off stage after six songs.
The crowd of 53,000 people began rioting, with eight police and 10 concertgoers injured, a dozen arrests made and significant property damage.
Axl throws out a hip
Axl’s signature “snake dance” is as significant a part of his persona as the ever-present bandana. But at age 54, a man’s hips aren’t what they used to be — just ask Chubby Checker. With 21 dates on their North American reunion tour, you have to wonder how much snaking Axl can still pull off. Watching Guns N’ Roses without Axl ‘s signature move would be like Michael Jackson unable to moonwalk or Elvis unable to thrust his pelvis.
Slash and Axl have to actually speak with each other
Despite their place in rock history on equal footing with Tyler/Perry or Roth/Van Halen, the Rose/Slash combo has always been one of troubled brilliance. “The split between Axl and I was a quiet one,” the guitarist told Esquire in 2011. “But because there was so much attention on the breakup — and are we going to get back together? — it got built up into this monster that led to a kind of animosity that wasn’t the focus for me. Neither one of us wants to be down each other’s throats for no reason. At this point, I’m trying to put it to rest. So I try to avoid the subject.” After 20 years of trying to not be “down each other’s throats,” there seems like a pretty good chance that at some point somebody’s going to say the wrong thing.
The Terminator kills them
Don’t forget: Axl and the T-800 have a history. Although Arnold Schwarzenegger deemed the lead singer a “waste of ammo” in 1990, those movies are about preventing the future — and maybe John Connor isn’t a fan of reunion tours.
Axl only wants to play ‘Chinese Democracy’
The most infamous album by Guns N’ Roses (or at least, Axl and dozens of revolving-door studio musicians) took 14 years to record and about five minutes to forget. It seems pretty safe to say that if Rose even brought the songs on that album up to Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum or Slash — all of whom resigned or were fired during its production — this whole tour would go up in flames. Sorry Axl, but you’ll have to stick to the oldies.
It turns into the Buckethead tour
According to Rolling Stone, although the North American tour is confirmed, the “reunion lineup” remains a mystery. As longtime Guns N’ Roses fans know, the band has had more members than the “X-Men” movies — and if this tour turns into some watered-down version of G N’ R, its safe to say that the crowds will not be pleased.
Of course, talented musicians like Dave Navarro, Tommy Stinson and DJ Ashba are to be admired. But aside from maybe Matt Sorum (the drummer after Steven Adler) and Izzy Stradlin (who has already said he won’t be involved), fans are going to want the original lineup — so please, Buckethead, stay off the stage and go spend your summer at KFC instead, picking out a new wardrobe.
Slash forgets his riffs
Hey, it has been a long time. But seriously, how could you ever forget this?
Lana Del Rey turns into Yoko Ono
In 2012, rumors swirled that Axl was dating the half-his-age songstress, who even once wrote a song about how she wanted Rose to be her husband. If Lana came on tour with the reformed G N’ R, that would undoubtedly be … interesting.
AC/DC comes calling
Details are still pretty fuzzy about what exactly Axl is doing with the Brian Johnson-less AC/DC, but if push comes to shove and the bands are in different cities, which concert would he show up for? Better yet, would Axl ever pull a Deion Sanders and just helicopter between events? One thing’s for sure: His voice would be a bit raspy at the end of that double-shift.
Jim Carrey fills in for Axl
Who knows? Maybe Axl doesn’t really have any intention of going out on tour after all. Jim Carrey has made a lot of money over the years, and perhaps he’s using this whole “tour” as an elaborate ruse to once again shake and shimmy and do his best Axl imitation. Very clever, Ace Ventura!