The problem with Axl
Ok, There are many problems. Axl is holding up rock and roll history. What is weird is that he is holding up history by being alive and well. The first problem with Axl, is he fired the whole band. We looked the other way as he replaced every single person in the band... until Slash. That is where I draw the line, bubba. If Appetite for Destruction is any indication, this would have been the greatest band in the history of rock. I almost wish the band had suffered a Skynrd-esque plane crash, so we could wistfully wonder what might have been. Instead, we know what was.
He fired the band, stole the name, and disappeared for 10 years with it. As I am sure you have heard, Axl & Co have gone out and headlined and canceled two world tours already with the new band. Starting with, you guessed it, a no call no show while 30,000 people in the building waited for Guns to come on. He is world famous for this, in Arizona (where I grew up) they were known as 'Guns & Noshows' because Axl missed three concerts in a row early in their career. I guess it's cool when he is 21, but dude is at least 40 now, and still pulling disappearing acts.
For about four years now, Axl has been promising a new Guns and Roses disc. It will be called Chinese Democracy. The process is often slowed though because, you guessed it, he keeps firing everyone. Tommy Stinson left about five years ago, and Buckethead quit/was fired
For ten years now he has held that name hostage, and by hostage I am not being dramatic. The producers of the film Blackhawk Down wanted to use 'Welcome to the Jungle' because that is what the real soldiers were listening to at the time. To me this is more than an honor, it is a calling. Well, Axl is such a monster that he told the producers he would only give them the song if he were allowed to re-record it with his new band to cut the others out of the royalties. Well, since Slash wrote every single song, that seems a bit unfair.
Just last week, the riff for 'Sweet Child of Mine' was ruled the greatest riff in history. Like everything G&R wrote, that was Slash's work.
Unlike about every other great rock band of history, every single original member of Guns & Roses is alive and well. The guys who made the greatest rock album of all time are all fine and still in the business. I guess it would be silly to wait for a reunion. In the absence of a full re-union, Axl Rose needs to
1) relinquish the band name, and release Chinese Democracy under his own name
2) or, he needs to
Chances are he'll do neither, but I'd be pleased with either.