G'N'F'N'R. You know, the band that plays drum and bass, is recording with Shaquille O'Neal and wears horsehair pants? Me neither. Let's be honest, I want to hear Appetite for Destruction all up in my face until the day I die. That's what was supposed to happen, and now we have to take a leap of faith into Chinese Democracy? When?
In January, GN'R's manager Doug Goldstein claimed that the album was "99% done" and was set "for a summer 2000 release," but he's wrong. The only thing they have managed to lock down so far is a title. A title that sounds like Billy Bragg with a lobotomy. A title that took months to choose and beat other enigmatic slogans like Cockroach Soup, 2000 Intentions, Catcher In The Rye, TWAT (There Was A Time), Prostitute, No Love Remains, Friend or Foe, Zip It, and The Blues.
The music may be equally confusing. Dizzy Reed, the keyboard-playing chubby guy is still in the group but now we have Tommy Stinson, of The Replacements, as the new bassist (he was also in Puff Daddy's video "It's All About the Benjamins"). The eclectic and large Paul Huge is on rhythm guitar. Josh Freese, the drummer (he's played with Devo and NIN) left in March but nobody cared because most of the drums are apparently programmed anyway. Robin Finck (NIN) was in the band for two years but split due to the constant delays. Other lead guitar players on the new album include Brian May (Queen) and Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction, RHCP). Youth (Killing Joke, The Verve) and Sean Beaven (Marilyn Manson, NIN) are involved on the production side. Moby was also brought in to lend his studio skills, but was way too busy touring to do Democracy. Although he refused to comment on the project, he did tell VICE that "Axl is a very talented guy."
So there's been like a thousand people involved with the new album, but what about the original guys? Here's where the seven real members of Guns N' Roses are now.
W. AXL ROSE
He's spent the past decade involved in dozens of lawsuits (with bandmates, girlfriends, family members, alleged stalkers, record labels, wives, etc.). He has been piecing together the new GN'R album since 1991 and it still isn't finished because he's such an obsessive-compulsive, paranoid, manic-depressive, perfectionist, and genius. One of the reasons the album is so late is the amount of time he's spent in past-life regression therapy. Andy Prieboy recently wrote a musical about Axl's life called White Trash Wins Lotto and one of the numbers (like Act VI or something) is called "Cocaine Blowjobs."
Duff is a band slut who has played in over 30 bands including Seattle's legendary Fartz. He is still rocking even though he's bloated and balding. "The music is the only thing that keeps me going," he said in a recent interview. Since quitting GN'R, he's recorded two solo albums. One is called Believe in Me, and the other, which he calls "an unreleased gem," is called Beautiful Disease. "I'm in a new band now' claims Duff like we'd be shocked, "a real band and we're called Loaded."
Judging by his past bands like Neurotic Outsiders with Steve Jones from The Sex Pistols, Matt Sorum from GN'R and John Taylor of Duran Duran, we can't wait to check it out. Here is our favorite Neurotic Outsiders song lyric of all time: "You saved my soul/ You made me hard/ And put me in your hole/ Yeah you feel so good/ Dick is like a stiff hard piece of wood." These guys rock.
The plainest Gunner. Apparently Gilby is his real name. His see-thru guitar was cool, but he was like a pasty, boring Ron Wood-wannabe statue, so he was phased out like six years ago. Look for his three solo albums that are terrible.
Back in Indiana now, Izzy was a founding member and gets full respect. He once played in a band called The Babysitters where he wore a dress. He was also arrested for pissing in the aisle of an airplane. Although he started the band with Axl in Indiana (his real name is Jeff Isabelle), he left just before Use Your Illusion was released because of heroin. He has a band called JuJu Hounds and a solo album out with Duff on it. The new JuJu Hounds album is pretty rockin' but it's a Japan-only release.
He's a fucking cheesy guy. Sure he looks like a greased-up raisin with a bandana on top, but he did use to be in The Cult, so he isn't a total waste of time. He joined GN'R in 1990 and was fired for being ugly in 1997. Now he's back in the Cult. Full circle. He also played in a band called "Y Kant Tori Read" with Tori Amos. What!?
Slash's real name is Saul Hudson and he will always be the coolest rock guitarist. That top hat and those cowboy boots might seem cheesy today but in 1988 it was like the Second Coming of Christ. Slash left GN'R on October 30, 1996 because there was a big Halloween party the day after. Citing "musical differences," he sold the rights to all the songs (as well as the name) to Axl. All Slash wants to do is fucking shred the frets on a cherry-sunburned Gibson Les Paul, man, and Axl was coming at him with loops and samples? Fuck that noise, Slash wants to rock (check Slash's Snakepit for more). Him and Axl negotiated what songs would be on the Live Era 87 - 91 by communicating via lawyers. "I would be happy to do a Guns N' Roses reunion, but only if we did it with all the original members," he said recently. Slash isn't bitter; he's a pushover.
Little Stevie was that blonde poofy-haired guy who played the simplest drumbeat of all time on "Paradise City." During the height of GN'R's stardom, he broke his hand after punching a lamppost. In 1990 he got fired from the band for being a junkie. He filed a court injunction against the group to try to prohibit them from kicking him out claiming that they were all doing the same amount of drugs. It didn't work. He has a new band called Freaks in the Room and he was arrested for drugs again on April 22nd 1998.
LIXX NASTY & RICHER "THE SMOKING DIGBY" BARNES