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Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Ferris returns fire

Posted By on Tue, Dec 5, 2006 at 12:27 PM

I like Guns N' Roses as much as the next guy. Probably more. But if I liked them as much as Mr. Green does, I'd be little edgy too. After waiting for over a decade for some new music from GNR, he's understandably upset with the bearer of bad news. First, let me address his comment about polka bands: The offhand remark smacks of ethnic insensitivity and cultural elitism. Pound for pound, "Who Stole the Kishka?" far better represents its genre than GNR's "Oh My God." In the version of the story I wrote and turned in, I wrote that Buckethead left the band in 2004. The original version was much longer, and the band deserves it. Even if most of the guys who made the group a rock legend are long-since departed. But some editors don't share our enthusiasm for GNR; they chopped my piece down to fit a single page, and apparently an error ensued. As they say on the streets, that was our bad. Buckethead's still not in the band, though. And he's sure one helluva guitar wizard! I wasn't there, but the accounts I read said it wasn't until 1997 that Rose & the ex-Gunners wrapped paperwork on the controversial business of giving Axl the rights to the name. Yeah, things went to Hades in 1992. But these things drag out when you get the lawyers involved. I'm pretty sure the classic lineup of GNR recorded "Sympathy," and I'm pretty sure everybody involved (except maybe Rose) regrets the entire affair. I guess it depends how you want to define "classic." Since most of the cats from the Illusion LPs were still on board, I'll give it to 'em. Regarding the cost of Chinese Democracy: in March 2005, the New York Times published Jeff Leeds' "The Most Expensive Album Never Released," a detailed account of Chinese Democracy's long gestation. At the time, Leeds figured the tab at $13 million. Subsequent reports ballpark it at $15 million. Maybe the exact cost of the unreleased album isn't $15 mil. Maybe it's $17 by now. I don't know, exactly. If Rose were doing interviews, I'd ask him. And I think Mr. Green and I can agree: If the new album has a single song on par with "It's So Easy" or "Estranged," it'll be worth a $20 million budget. Regarding the cancelled shows: If a concert was going to happen at scheduled time, and it doesn't happen at that time, then you can wax semantic all day whether it's "cancelled" or "postponed." Shows were scheduled, and they didn't happen. The promoter said they didn't happen because Axl was busy working on the album. If I lived in Rio and shelled out a few hard-earned bucks for a concert ticket in 2001, I think I'd consider the concert "cancelled" — even if they played a gig in the country three years later. We could also argue whether not mentioning GNR kicking ass in Europe is an error, a tactical error, or a mere omission. I move to strike that claim from the record. I'm not rippin' on the almighty W. Axl Rose, who was a driving force behind some of the greatest rock records ever recorded. All I'm sayin' is that Chinese Democracy has taken a lot of time and money to produce, and it still isn't here yet. I'm looking forward to it, too. D.X. Ferris Cleveland, America
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