Dec 4, 2011

Gun n' Roses to be inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has an appetite for induction.

L.A. rockers Guns N’ Roses are among the newest members of the Cleveland-based music institution, it was announced early Wednesday.

The big question now, of course, is whether the original Guns N’ Roses lineup — singer Axl Rose, guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steven Adler — will reunite to play at the ceremony April 14 in Cleveland. While various members of the camp are still in touch, Rose and Slash haven’t spoken in years, and the mercurial singer has appeared to harbour a major grudge against his former guitarist. More recently, Rose has softened somewhat, telling an interviewer it’s “up in the air.” Perhaps McKagan, who has a foot in both camps — he plays with Slash in Velvet Revolver and was onstage with Rose’s current version of GN’R earlier this year — can broker a settlement.

Last year, Adler told me he feels a reunion somewhere down the line is inevitable. “If I have to have my friends kidnap them just to get them in the room, I’ll do it,” he laughed. “Because I know once we get in a room, with no instruments or nothing, just five five guys in an empty room, there would be nothing but hugging and crying.”

“There's one thing that nobody can take away from us, and that is that we are brothers. And we will always be brothers. And brothers fight with each other. But just because you don't like your brother sometimes doesn't mean you don't love him. And I love those guys.”


Fans "Patience" Rewarded at
Explosive Guns n' Roses Concert

It was a snowy night in March of 1993 when my friend Becky Lee and I first went to Copps Coliseum in Hamilton to see Guns n’ Roses in concert. At the height of their career with all the original band members still intact, it was a mind-blowing event we thought could never be topped.

All that changed on November 28th, when 18 years later, we returned to the scene of the crime to see GnR at Copps once again.

A lot had changed since our first encounter. For starters, we were no longer in the nose bleed section of the stadium. This time around we had fourth row seats, thanks to the generosity of Becky’s brother, who got her the primo tickets as a birthday present. There’d be no need to bring along binoculars to catch the action up close, as it was all happening only a few feet away from our seats.

Of course the biggest change would be the band itself - in particular Axl Rose. During the months leading up to the concert, Becky and I had discovered photos and video clips online revealing an out-of-shape Rose, dressed in a freaky yellow full-length jacket, as he attempted to sing one of his hits. It wasn’t one of his finest moments and we were afraid of what to expect the night of the big show, especially since we would be so close to the stage.

Although our tickets indicated an 8pm start, this being a Guns n' Roses concert, we knew there was no chance the band would hit the stage anywhere near that time. In fact, it was almost 9pm when we actually entered the buidling. Everyone was subject to a full body pat down and security was tight. We didn’t experience anything like this when we went to Copps in July to see Tim McGraw. But then, no one’s ever thrown things at McGraw while on stage (except perhaps their motel key or panties), the same cannot be said for Axl Rose, who has dodged bottles and other objects far more than any artist should.

We opted to stay where the vendors are and enjoy a drink and visit, while the opening act sang (at least I think that’s what she was doing, it sounded more like an exorcism than singing.)

Finally at 10:45 pm, the lights dimmed and Guns n' Roses began what would be almost a 3 hour extravaganza of their greatest hits. And Axl looked good! Nothing like the barely recognizable photos we had seen online. Perhaps touring for just over a month, dancing and running around stages, had helped get him in better shape. No he wasn’t the young stud we saw 18 years ago, but he still had the swagger and the pipes to belt out all our favourites.

New faces in the group included guitarists Bumblefoot and DJ Ashba, whose energy and enthusiasm was contagious and really got the crowd rockin’ whenever Axl would scoot off behind stage during guitar riffs. Becky joked he was sneaking back to do lines, but I’d like to think it was to cool off, drink some water and change hats (he wore several throughout the show.)

The pyro technical effects were beyond any I had seen before. Massive loud flames shot out during “Live and Let Die” and for their final number, “Paradise City” they pulled out all the stops with more flames, a storm of bright red confetti, fireworks and shiny streamers –I’d hate to be the ones cleaning the stadium up after this gig.

In 1993, the drive home from the GnR concert was as memorable as the show itself. We got very lost and then Becky’s car died, stranding us at a 24 hour convenience store in the middle of nowhere until help arrived. Thanks to her shiny new vehicle complete with GPS and heated seats, no such problems occurred this time around.

Instead I admired the photos and video clips we had taken with our Smartphones, pondering which ones to use for scribbles, while a beaming Becky drove onward in the “November Rain.”

Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another 18 years to do it again.


A Bit About This Video

Everyone attending the GnR concert may have been subjected to a full body pat down, but there was no way they could scoop up all our Smartphones. Since they haven't installed jammers to block the camera function of our devices (yet), I was able to capture almost 40 minutes of video on my beloved iphone. That was the great part.

The difficult part was condensing all that down to a clip a few minutes in length. Anything longer won't upload to our site, so it took a lot of editing and effort to bring you what I thought were the finest moments.

There's a slightly longer version of this clip on my facebook page (the grand finale is shown almost in its entirety- the effects were astounding and went on forever.)

If you listen closely, you'll hear Becky commenting "Thatta boy" when Axl starts to sway and dance while perfoming "Patience" (or was she saying it to her new delight DJ Ashba?). Hear me giggling like a school girl during the finale when guitarist DJ Ashba attempts to grab confetti with his tongue. And although drowned out by the cheers of the crowd, pardon my use of the F bomb when they finale draws to a climax.  ENJOY!

[And THANK GOD I didn't double-up my meds on THIS night -I would have gone mad indeed..LM-CRAZY-AO!]


Tim McGraw wins ruling over recording career
Kristin M. Hall, The Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Country music star Tim McGraw has won a court ruling in Nashville allowing him to keep recording while a lawsuit against him by Curb Records continues.

Chancellor Russell Perkins ruled Wednesday after a four-hour hearing that McGraw can sign with another record label.

Curb Records sought to prevent McGraw from recording or signing with another label until he fulfilled what Curb believed was his obligation for a fifth album.

McGraw is accused of breach of contract, and that trial is scheduled for July.

The performer and his wife, singer Faith Hill, were in court Wednesday. McGraw did not testify.