Now that the hysteria and hairspray surrounding the Guns N’ Roses reunion, or perhaps to put it correctly, the Axl Rose/Slash/Duff McKagan reunion, has cleared, there would appear to be an massive elephant in the room. Make that two — and their names are Izzy Stradlin and Steven Alder.
As the Inquisitr earlier reported, “Like a candle in the wind or a lighter held aloft in the cold ‘November Rain,’ fans of the classic line-up have never given up hope that Axl may forgive Slash, or Slash may forgive Axl for whatever epic transgressions the one has committed in the other’s eyes, and walk on stage together once more. Not necessarily hand-in-hand and skipping, but at least accompanied by the lanky frame of Duff, the cool and nonchalant gait of Izzy, and of course, the breezy and bouncy brassiness of Steven, as the lads from L.A. welcome us to the jungle once more.”
When it was confirmed earlier this year that Guns N’ Roses would reform to headline Coachella, and warm up with two gigs in April on the Las Vegas Strip, even the most over the hill and gone to seed Roses fan was affectionately eyeing up their beat up old leather jacket and euphorically enacting Axl’s snake hip sway as they strutted around the place in celebration of the hitherto impossible becoming possible.
Bobby Reynolds, Vice President of Booking, AEG Live, is certainly enthusiastic about Axl and the boys riding the trail once more.
“Guns N’ Roses choosing to return to the stage in their full glory, on the Las Vegas Strip to open T-Mobile Arena is rock n’ roll history. This is going to be an awesome event and not to be missed.”
How awesome watching three aging members of not so much a band but a gang of outlaws who once set the world on fire in a blaze of glory is open to suggestion, but like most things in life, if the Guns N’ Roses reunion hasn’t got all five of the original ingredients, is it really gonna cook?
Let’s begin at the beginning.
Like the four riders of the apocalypse, plus one, Axl, Slash, Izzy, and Duff strode into town with their trademark brand of bottled lightning, closely followed by Steven on the drums.
If rock n’ roll had a look, Guns N’ Roses were it. If rock n’ roll had an attitude, then they defined it, and if rock n’ roll had a sound, Guns N’ Roses owned it. With an effortless cool and ragged glory, the hell-raising outlaws scaled the highest peaks and entertained with the most elusive of epiphanies.
Then, like anything touched by the hand of god or sense of infinite otherness, it didn’t last, and fell apart quicker than one of Slash’s solos. What was once raw and without compromise broke down in a very mundane, ignoble, and cliched manner.
By the time the Use Your Illusion era came crawling down the highway, the wheels had already started to fall off this rock n’ roll juggernaut, as massive egos, frayed nerves, addictive personalities, a weary nihilism, and an indifferent approach all conspired to create a freak show without equal — a freak show that would eventually run its course and come to a grinding and unspectacular halt.
Yet, before their sad and slow decline, for the briefest of periods, Guns N’ Roses ignited the world and one another, untouchable, unbounded, and complete.
Fast forward a few decades, and there is high hopes that Axl and the gang can, if not do it all again, at least give fans the sort of shows to remind everyone of the unbounded joy, seductive danger, and intoxicating otherness that rock n’ roll at its best can deliver.
Yet, without Izzy or Steven thrown into the mix, exactly how palatable are those extortionate ticket prices Axl and the other two musketeers are charging for the privilege of watching them rock?
Take Steven Alder, for example — something that Axl Rose appears to not want to do. The boozy blonde with the taste for the high life may have had a raw deal when it comes to the tragic tale of the Appetite for Destruction lineup of Guns N’ Roses, but it’s even rawer that Alder looks likely to play no part in their forthcoming reunion, especially since in the past, Alder has been so very vocal about longing to bash the skins for his old friends again.
In an Inquisitr report, Alder stressed that Axl Rose owes the fans a Guns N’ Roses reunion, and he’s got a billion reasons why.
“I have a billion reasons why there should be a Guns N’ Roses reunion, and that’s a billion people around the world who love us and have supported us and want more than anything to see us.
“I think if we did a reunion show, or shows, it would definitely be for the fans. I mean, we’ve lived our dream lives. Everything we dreamed about we have experienced — good or bad. Sometimes you don’t know what you want when you dream things. But we’ve experienced it and done it. We owe it to the fans.
“It’s Axl’s call on doing a reunion. It’s all up to him. And I love him and I have his back, and I support him in everything he does except for if he doesn’t wanna play for the fans, I can’t support that. ‘Cause it’s all for the fans. If he says it’s not for the money, it’s for the art — it’s for the fans. That’s what it’s for.”
And let’s be honest, anyone who ever thought how impossibly cool and fiercely individualistic each of the five original members of Guns N’ Roses were and the unlikeness of such a group operating successfully as a gang of criminals, let alone a world beating band was, then you’re going to settle for nothing less than the full reunion.
Any great band needs each member not so much singing from the same hymn sheet but tugging relentlessly in separate directions, building tension and then reconciling it through great works of art. The members of the Appetite era complimented one another perfectly.
Naysayers will snarl that Alder cannot be trusted to stay sober enough, or that he cannot pound the skins in the same way he used to do. A quick look at various clips online with a rejuvenated Alder killing it on the drums puts pay to any doubts about his ability. As for staying sober, Steven had this to say.
“As of today, I have four hundred and four days sober, and I have never been happier, I have never played better or had more fun playing. I mean, if we did ever do a reunion, or if we even made a record again together, the GN’R guys, I think it would blow Appetite For Destruction away.
“All of us are such better players. And when we did Appetite, we were only adults for maybe three or four years. And that’s from our experiences in life, that’s what we came up with. Now we’ve been adults for 30 years, and I’ve been through ups and downs, like an emotional roller coaster. I have a lot to write about, and I know the other guys, if we got together, being adults now and knowing what we know, and having been through what we’ve been through, I think we could make an even bigger kicka** record.”
And then there’s Izzy. Axl Rose’s childhood friend from Lafayette. Many fans still believe that Izzy and Axl were the real Lennon/McCartney of GnR.
That may be something of an overstatement, but one thing’s for sure. When Izzy left Guns N’ Roses, it all went to hades. Think The Spaghetti Incident if you want tangible evidence.
Ever a wrinkled veteran of a thousand cock rock wars, Alice Cooper recently asked in Rolling Stone magazine, “Where’s Izzy?”
“You’d think if Slash and Axl are working together… Izzy would be a shoo-in.
“I’m just wondering why isn’t Izzy in there? I don’t know about drums, but certainly Izzy is viable. You’d think if Slash and Axl are working together – and Duff is one of those guys that gets along with everybody – then at least Izzy would be one of the guys who would be a shoo-in.
“And maybe he is, I don’t know. I don’t what their setup is with him. But it’s like not having Brian Jones with the Rolling Stones, if he were available.”
Although it’s doubtful that Izzy hasn’t already been invited to join the Guns n’ Roses reunion. It’s just as the coolest member of the band and polar opposite of Alder, Izzy may prefer to keep things on the down low and stay as far away from the circus as possible.
Either way. A Guns N’ Roses reunion without Izzy and Alder on board is going to a ship pretty much sunk in the water before it’s left the port. They’ll undoubtably be good shows by three talented guys. They just won’t be Guns N’ Roses shows.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]