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Axl Rose Was Late for a Gig in 1991 Because He Was Too Busy Watching Ninja Turtles

"Axl’s attention was 100% on the movie and couldn’t be bothered."
Emma Garland
London, GB
August 21, 2015, 9:48am

Some people are more famous for their contributions to music than they are for being late to their own concerts. Axl Rose is not one of those people. Axl Rose is a man whose tardiness preceds him. He once lost a $20 million lawsuit because he didn’t file it soon enough.

In his defence, he has previously admitted that he’s not a “‘punctual’ type of person,” but always maintained that every delay was “in one way or another show-related or having to do with those involved with the show in some fashion.”


According to Alternative Nation, though, the reason he gave for being late to a show in Tampa on December 28, 1991, was that he was too engrossed in watching the live-action film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.

Now, I'm not going to say that his decision was the best one, but I can certainly empathize with the idea of four adult men in turtle suits saying "Cowabunga, dude!" and battling it out with a new army of mutants in a sewer (in a film which, it's worth noting, has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 33%) being much, much more appealing to him than performing his own music live in front of people.

This is the story as amazingly recounted by a Tampa radio DJ to Alternative Nation:

“The DJ was an assistant to the owner of the venue, and needless to say the owner was getting pissed. When the owner asked why Axl was being late for the thousandth time, he said: ‘Axl’s management said he was watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, and that Axl’s attention was 100% on the movie and couldn’t be bothered.'”

If you'd like to see how an average Guns N' Roses gig goes down when Axl actually reaches the stage, please enjoy this compilation video of him losing his shit between the years 1988 and 1993.

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