THE GUNS N’ ROSES REUNION THAT REALLY MATTERS
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Slash and Axl Rose were not the Page and Plant of Guns N’ Roses — Izzy Stradlin and Axl Rose were. Yes, Slash’s guitar playing is unique, his tone perfect, but at the end of the day, he’s basically one of the most talented session players in the history of rock music. Izzy might have shunned the spotlight — even though he’s fairly prolific in the studio, interviews and public performances are incredibly rare, and he actually turned down the chance to be in Velvet Revolver — but it’s clear that he understands songcraft in a big, big way. You wanna know why neither Velvet Revolver album nor Chinese Democracy sounded enough like classic GN’R? Well which original member of the band had nothing to do with any of those releases? Guns N’ Roses was basically fucked when he quit the band in 1991, while they were still at the height of their powers.
Which is why it’s worth getting excited about the fact that he joined GN’R on stage in London last night. This isn’t the first time he’s done so — we saw him do it back in 2006 — and I don’t think it’s any indication that he’s coming back for good. I just think it’s something to enjoy and nerd out about — especially since one of the songs he performed was “14 Years,” a) on which he sings lead vocals — which is shocking, ’cause this was basically a guest appearance, and b) the band hasn’t performed in twenty-one years. Which is, y’know, seven years longer than the song says.
And here’s “You Could Be Mine,” also with Mr. Stradlin: