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Guns N' Roses Returns to the Jungle

Pop Music* Founding member Axl Rose will lead a new lineup on band's first North American tour in nine years.

September 27, 2002|GEOFF BOUCHER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Axl Rose, the long-lost bad boy of metal, will return in early November with a reconstituted Guns N' Roses for the band's first North American tour in nine years, although the status of the group's oft-promised new album remains uncertain.

The Guns N' Roses of 2002, scheduled to kick off an arena tour with a Nov. 7 performance in Vancouver, Canada, is far removed from the volatile rock outfit that first rattled the scene in 1985--frontman Rose is the only founding member still on board. No California dates have been announced, but they are expected.

After Rose, the only "old" member still in the mix is Dizzy Reed, who joined Guns N' Roses during the making of "Use Your Illusion 1" and "Use Your Illusion 2." Those 1991 simultaneous releases, along with the mega-selling 1987 album "Appetite for Destruction," were the most potent moments in the band's relatively meager recording output, but the group's searing live performance and allegiance to reckless rock at a time of antiseptic pop made them among that era's most memorable music forces.

The caterwauling Rose has become a reclusive figure in recent years, and his seemingly endless toils on the next Guns N' Roses album, "Chinese Democracy," had many fans skeptical they would ever actually hear the music. An Interscope Records staffer said Thursday that the album is not on the label's schedule of pending releases.

The new lineup boasts three guitarists: Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails), the cartoonish virtuoso Buckethead and Richard Fortus (Love Spit Love). Also on board are bassist Tommy Stinson (the Replacements), drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia (Primus) and keyboardist Chris Pitman (the Replicants).

The group is coming off six dates in Asia and Europe, and it has been playing new material, presumably from "Chinese Democracy," as well as the familiar hits.

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