#460: Appetite for Reunions

GETTING MORE TALE #460: Appetite for Reunions

Unless you have been living under a pile of rock (and roll), then you know that the hype machine for a 2016 Guns N’ Roses “reunion” has already begun.

But this is not a reunion.  This is not Axl, Slash, Duff, Izzy, and Steven.  Matt Sorum is not involved, nor is Gilby Clarke.  The new lineup is supposed to consist of:  W. Axl Rose, Slash, Duff “Rose” McKagan, Richard Fortus, Frank Ferrer, Dizzy Reed, and Chris Pittman, with new member Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver) in the third guitar slot.

Of course, many lineups labelled as “reunions” in the past were not.  Van Halen’s current “reunited” lineup consists of three classic members and one new guy, Wolfgang Van Halen.  Any time The Who go out there for a tour, there are only two original members.  Not much can be done about that, with Keith and John both gone.  Not that it matters since both bands have made millions on these tours, and both bands even managed to put out new albums, without the full original lineups.  New music always trumps a tour.

Few bands seem to reunite with all the beloved members intact, either due to death or stubbornness.  There are exceptions, obviously.  The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac came together with their most beloved lineups, and a tremendous amount of success, but even they couldn’t make it last.  Don Felder was fired from the Eagles years ago.  Christine McVie only recently returned to the Mac after being gone for ages, and meanwhile the band did a new album without her.   And Black Sabbath?  Their farewell tour only has ¾ of the original lineup!  Meanwhile Bill Ward sits at home, having alienated the band and Sharon Osbourne.  The chances of Ward ever playing drums again in the band he co-founded are slim to none.  One does not piss off the Osbourne camp without consequences.  Regardless of his reasons, justified or not, a Black Sabbath farewell tour without its still capable original drummer is a hollow thing indeed.

Even when you do get the full original lineup of a band that you wanted, that doesn’t necessarily mean the band is returning to full functionality.  When Kiss reunited in 1996 with the full original band, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss were hired hands.  They didn’t get a say, they didn’t get a vote.  They got a contract stating their responsibilities and compensation.  As if Paul and Gene would ever give up any control in their band, now!  So what we saw live was Kiss, but what we got behind the scenes and on the album Psycho-Circus was just “more of the same”.  Ace and Peter didn’t even appear on many of the songs, even though they were on the album cover.  But that’s nothing new for Kiss!

What band has had the most successful reunion?  I’m not talking in terms of numbers; then we would probably have to include Spice Girls and New Kids on the Block.  Who has had the most success in terms of quality?  That would have to be Iron Maiden.

Steve Harris did something very creative when he reunited with Bruce Dickinson.  Instead of just bringing Bruce back into the band, he also brought in Bruce’s guitarist and former Maiden member Adrian Smith.  But Adrian was not cool with coming in to replace somebody else.  “What about Janick Gers?” he asked.  Janick had been in Maiden for a successful decade, and Adrian didn’t want him out of a job.  Steve always envisioned a three-guitar Iron Maiden, and Adrian Smith coming back gave him that opportunity.  It worked out brilliantly, especially live, when it could have been a train wreck.  Technically, what Iron Maiden did is the same thing Guns N’ Roses are said to be doing:  a new version of the band, with both classic and current members.  Maiden made it last, too.  Harris was very clear with Bruce:  nobody was coming back to Maiden just to hang around a while and leave again.  Anybody coming back to Maiden was coming back for life, and that is exactly what happened.  Five more studio albums later, Maiden rule absolutely.

What will happen with Guns N’ Roses?  That is harder to predict.  It is unlikely their most talented member, Izzy Stradlin, would want to return to the circus of insanity that is a GN’R tour.  As for Slash, he has always preferred a stripped down band.  It’s hard to imagine how he will be happy playing in a band with two keyboardists, but that’s what they say is happening.  How long will it last?  A few shows?  Coachella and gone?  Much like Ace Frehley, Slash will probably be a contracted musician.

A band of Guns’ stature all but had to reunite.  The fans have been loudly demanding something like this for over a decade.  The fans hoped Izzy and Steven Adler or Matt Sorum would be a part of it, but that has always seemed unlikely.  Slash couldn’t even get Izzy into Velvet Revolver.  What they are doing is probably the closest to a reunion that is likely.  Perhaps Izzy will show up to guest as he has in the past, but fans shouldn’t get their hopes up of seeing Adler on stage.

Perhaps this, the most anticipated “reunion” since Led Zeppelin (also a new lineup with Jason Bonham), will stop the constant questions from the media and fans.  “Will you ever get back together?”  It must be tiring answering that question daily, when you have new music out there to play.  Sometimes a band just has to give in and take a step backwards.  Sometimes, as in the case of Iron Maiden, the way forward is to go backwards.

Will it work?  The only way to find out is to stay tuned.  You know where you are?  You in the jungle, baby.

Let’s see if the bad boys of rock and roll can still survive the jungle.

GNR

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104 comments

  1. Interesting read, Mike. I’d like to hear some new GnR. It might be a little crowded but I’ll predict they have what it takes to pounce around the jungle again, baby. Thanks for including Iron Maiden, I didn’t know that about their lineup.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Maybe “Men at Work” would have been an equivalent, but more useful, title. Before each member comes on stage, there could be a heavy version of “Who can it be now?” playing.

          Like

    1. Speaking of popcorn, did you know that movie theaters now have self-serve butter? You can put as much on as you want, keep going back for more butter…my god it’s terrible and awesome and stinky but good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. …and so bad for you!
        I have my mom’s old proctor-silex air popcorn maker from the 80s. The thing is f’n LOUD, but makes good popcorn. We melt butter in the micro, and I like putting garlic salt on top. Mmmm…popcorn…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m both happy and surprised by this news. It might not be a full on reunion, but I think the return of Slash and Duff is cause for cause for celebration. I hope the tour makes it close to me and is affordable.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. It baffles me how the band put out 5 albums in 6 years, then 15 years for the next album.
          Maybe the former members will kick Axl’s ass into putting out a record.
          I would buy it.
          I don’t think it is right for a band to reform without a new album.
          Even a single or 2. Maybe a 10″ vinyl. Throw us a bone.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Well Axl has plenty of material in the can. But how hard can it be for them to write a new song by April? I’m sure they can come up with something incredible in that time. There’s no saying there won’t be new music. One rumour has them recording two new songs.

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  3. Nice informative post Mike – I think managed expectations are the way to go here. Like you said, it’s not a proper reunion, but it’s probably as close as it’ll get.
    With those managed expectations, I may roll the dice and see them if they come as close as T.O!

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    1. This is my guess. They will announce a show in Toronto. It will sell out in seconds and they will then announce a 2nd or even a third. That is sometimes the case with a bigger draw. If you are lucky and you wait a day or so to buy tickets, you can score better seats for the 2nd or 3rd show. Results may very.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Wait to see if they are getting along first to buy tickets. I did that when David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar had a co-headlining tour. I really wanted to see that show but wasn’t surprised when the show closest to me got cancelled.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I still don’t like this much. I can’t imagine there would be an album off the back of this whole new line-up thing – given that the big thing is Coachella, it’s fairly clear the whole thing is money motivated. Slash and Duff agreeing to being some sort of contract players doesn’t make sense, though, as I’d reckon Axl needs this more than those two (I would certainly imagine Slash is more of a draw with that Kennedy lad than Axl’s GN’R).

    As I said the other day over at Aaron’s post, the best music they made was the product of a certain time and environment. Those guys were ‘the most dangerous band in the world’ …

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Agreed. All my faves are Izzy songs. I was so unhappy when he left. I remember listening to the radio that night. “Rumour is GNR are going to hire Dave Navarro to replace Izzy.” NOOOOOOOO!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. … I love Navarro, but that would never have worked. Different type of player.

          I did like Gilby. Not exactly Izzy, but he was good. Man, I just can’t get excited about this new GN’R line-up …

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    1. In the above news clip, there is a video of Axl’s last appearance on Jimmy Kimmel. Apparently Axl was a manager at a video store in Hollywood in the 80’s. Jimmy Kimmel asks him “As a manager, did you have to scold people for being late?” I almost spit out my coffee laughing.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I am surprised there wasn’t a GNR show for Coachella, and Slash with Myles Kennedy booked. Then mysteriously, and to no ones surprise, Slash joins the stage with GNR.
          The rumour mill would run rampant.
          As for Coachella, did you see the prices.
          I can hear my bank manager.
          “So. You want to refinance your mortgage for a concert ticket.”

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I reckon this is a one-off thing for a year or so, then its back to Axl and friends. I think this is the Psycho Circus touring cycle and we’re just waiting around for Sonic Boom. I actually liked Chinese Democracy so I wish he’d hurry up and release the other two discs. (No interest in ever seeing them live unless Axl undergoes some serious transformation or they boot him out and the actual GNR members boot out everyone AND Axl and just be GNR with Myles Kennedy on vocals in a Queensryche style move…if Queensryche somehow got DeGarmo back that is!)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Indeed. Short sighted cash injection now, career even further in the toilet tommorow.

        Unless all the stars align and this reuniuon isnt a pointless waste of time. I just doubt Axl’s vocals are good enough for it to be worth anyone’s time.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I suppose the Black Sabbath one still has fans. And Van Halen’s last one was good. Yeah, why not… as long as they don’t start fighting something good could come of it…. maybe all the Slash/Duff penned Chinese Democracy songs could be released too…

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        2. I saw Axl 6 years ago and his voice and stage presence was completely awesome.

          His voice should still be great as he is not likely to have damaged it earing bon bons and watxhing tv for the last 5 or so years.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. “Who has had the most success in terms of quality? That would have to be Iron Maiden.”

    Of course. But the reason is that they are just a good band all around. They have earned respect through their music, not from the yellow press or groupies writing tell-all books.

    Has any band, ever, consistently maintained the high quality which Maiden has maintained for as long as Maiden has? Has anyone even come close?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would say Judas Priest have come close. Their career has always paralleled Maiden’s, it seems. Singer left at the same time…they made two albums with a new singer before the mega successful reunion, also virtually at the same time. I’d say Priest are the runners-up. I have always respected them even though I don’t think they are quite as great as Maiden.

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  7. Great write up Mike as always… I’d like to mention firstly that they haven’t excluded Izzy nor Alder for that matter – only that they have a couple confirmed. From what I on the inside track is that ALL members will be on this tour including Gilby as well. Slash doesn’t want to do a watered down version of the band – he genuinely wants ALL the GNF family to reunite for shows is my understanding…. Secondly – I love the Album Title of “Appetite for Resolution” ! However I don’t see this being a long term deal – but they did say that Axl and Slash have been working on this reunion for 2 years now :) So anything can happen !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NEIL! Thanks for stopping by! Everybody, if you don’t know, Neil has a band with the best name ever – Guitared N’ Feathered. How fucking cool is that?

      I noticed you said “GNF” instead of “GNR”, you must get that confused often :)

      Like

  8. Do you really think Slash will be contracted? I would have thought he’d have more negotiating power than that. More than Ace did with KISS certainly. As with all reunions, if there’s no new music I can’t get very interested.

    Maybe Skid Row with ZP Theart can blag a support slot at some point?! Haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doooon’t get me started on Skid Row! :)

      Yeah I really do think Slash and Duff will be contracted. Axl forced them to sign away the rights to the name decades ago, so based on that, I figure more shenanigans. But that’s coming from me — a guy who has never seen a music contract in his life! So take it with a grain of salt, it’s just me talking out of my ass.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This forced reunion of the most over-hyped band in music history should be avoided at all costs. For too many reasons to list here. Just go put on your 4th copy of Crappetite for Destruction and save yourself the grief and the money

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I kind of agree about the reunion. But more about the price and the asshole scalpers.
      I would Dizzy brings his band, Slash brings his band, Axl brings his band. They all do an hour long set. Then the original band reforms for the last hour. Just my 2 cents.

      As for Apetite, please name 10 better debut albums. Ok go.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. The Cars self-titled
          Tenacious D self-titled
          Ramones self-titled
          Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced
          The Doors self titled
          The Police – Outlandos D’Amour
          Boston self titled
          Rage Against the Machine self titled
          Joe Jackson – Look Sharp
          The FLying Burrito Brothers – Gilded Palace of Sin

          just to name ten others that LeBrain didnt mention…

          Listen … I know everyone loves there GnR and what have you ….. but frankly? what they do? I think Aerosmith did it first … and i think Aerosmith did it better. I dont like axl’s voice .. never have. The songs are pretty good. So much hype for a band that only has a few albums, and treated their fans like garbage.

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    1. I truly don’t get all the negativity. Fans have been asking for Slash and Duff to return for years. Now all of a sudden they’re not happy because Izzy and Steven aren’t involved. This didn’t seem to bother them during, you know THE ENTIRE 90’S!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As my favourite bands get older, dying off, drugged out, losing their talent, pissed off at fellow band mates etc. I am not able to see very many original member only bands. So many bands I missed the opportunity to see when they were in their prime, and seeing them now brings back a flood of youthful exuberance, and good memories, so I say go if you can and stop whining. The social media era has made too many people out to be whiny bitches, that can never be satisfied.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Fuck yeah. Man you should follow Mitch Lafon on Facebook and see the bitching that goes on. I asked the question, “Why is everybody moaning that Izzy and Steven are not there? This didn’t bother ANYONE in 1992, 1993, 1994…” Nobody had any answers for that. Then people switched tacks, and started talking about doing it for the money. It’s just fans being dicks because of the internet.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. One of the main reasons I rarely venture over to Facebook. It was cool for a while, but the constant selfies, look at me posts, bitching and whining turned me off. I switched my attention to the blogging world and never looked back. 99.999999 % of the people here are great, so I have little time left for Facebook.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. I have a few friends that I keep in touch with there. We do all our Sausagefest communication there. And I LOVE following Mitch Lafon and getting all the latest news before it’s out. Otherwise you are 100% correct about Facebook. 110% even. It’s like anything – use wisely in moderation. HMO posts some neat stuff there. Deke does occasionally.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. It’s like an addiction.

          In today’s world people are stupid enough to post about some event they are at when they called in sick to work. And they have their boss as a Facebook friend.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. Craig Fee posts a lot of that stuff — always good for a laugh. Today he posted a shot of somebody on Facebook saying that he was happy, because a girl he knows won’t die of ovarian cancer, because her boyfriend donated one of his ovaries. And these people are allowed to BREED.

          Liked by 1 person

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