Sure, Jay Leno had President Obama on his show Wednesday, but for children of the '90s, it was Jimmy Kimmel who scored the night’s biggest booking: Guns N’ Roses star Axl Rose.
In his first live television appearance in 20 years, the famously temperamental singer was in an unusually gregarious mood. There were no tantrums, no surly answers, and no badmouthing of former bandmates. Instead, Rose came off as a benevolent rock-n’-roll Santa Claus. He told Kimmel about charming the neighborhood kids with a Halloween tree and ended the segment by handing out Tommy’s Burger Truck gift certificates to the studio audience.
“I thought it would be something fun,” he said. “Fun”?! This from the guy who used to incite riots onstage?
It was nice, if strange, to see the once reclusive Rose cheerfully promoting his band’s upcoming residency at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Somewhat more disappointing, at least for those of us who spent untold hours of our adolescence watching and rewatching homemade VHS recordings of the “November Rain” video (ahem), was Rose’s get-up.