A Guns ‘N Roses Reunion? Is Hell Really Getting Cooler? Maybe.

Each time that I’ve talked to Slash over the last decade he’s firmly but politely denied the possibility (not to mention the need) for a Guns ‘N Roses reunion.

“Why?” he said, peering at me from beneath his top hat and behind unnecessarily dark sunglasses. “We did what we did and it was good. Now we’re all doing other things and that’s good, too. I don’t see the point, really.” And with that, the conversation moved on to Snakepit, the Conspirators and cars (Slash is a gearhead; we geeked out over Top Gear and Aston-Martins for a bit.)

But in the back of my mind was a conversation I once had with an industry insider who was and remains positive that the Gunners will reunite.

“It’ll come down to Axl and money,” she said. “Slash has managed his money well. He’s fine. Duff is a financial adviser with an MBA. He’s made tons of money for himself as well as other people. Izzy? I think he was one of Duff’s clients. If Matt Sorum doesn’t want to do it, Steve Adler hopes and prays for a reunion every single second of every single day, so he’s in. That leaves Axl.”

“But the rest of the guys hate him, right? Why would they ever want to work with him again?”

“Never underestimate how humble and cooperative one can get once the money tree starts to shrivel. Axl’s been burning through GNR-related cash like Michael Jackson lived off Thriller. Eventually there’s nothing left. And it’s not like royalties for album sales are going to carry the day. The only way to make money these days–especially for a heritage act like GnR–is to swallow their pride, take the victory lap of a reunion tour and cash all the cheques that come with it. And the cheques for Gunners reunion will be HUGE!”

So where do things stand today?

  • Duff has been working with Izzy already. A new track featuring both of them comes out next week.
  • Duff recently join Axl’s version of GnR on tour.
  • A rumour says the band is already back together and as many as eight songs have been recorded for a new record to be released in advance of a 2016 world tour.
  • Axl has been silent. Dead silent.
  • Slash had this to say on CBS This Morning this week (May 7): “I gotta be careful what I say there. I mean, if everybody wanted to do it and do it for the right reasons, you know, I think the fans would love it. I think it might be fun at some point to try and do that, but…it just starts to get into a whole complex thing. But anyway, it’s really between the guys in the band.”
  • Well, what about his feud with Axl?  “We don’t have all those issues anymore. There’s not a lot of controversy. It’s something that’s more perpetuated by the media than anything.”

And here’s another thing worth considering. With fewer and fewer bands able to fill arenas and stadiums every year, promoters are willing to pay big, big, BIG dollars to get some of these legacy acts back on the road. Live Nation owns all these venues that need to be filled with punters. AEG wants to be bigger than Live Nation and are willing to pay whatever’s necessary to make that happen. And the music industry wants to milk the Baby Boomers for more discretionary dough–something of which they have a lot.

Will it happen? My insider friend remains positive. Me? I’ll believe it when I see it.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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