Nothing to Hear Here
Well, this is a rather unexpected surprise.
A new Guns N’ Roses song, “Going Down” (not to be confused with “Ain’t Going Down,” a widely-bootlegged but never officially released song by the band’s classic incarnation) has surfaced online. Interestingly enough, it features lead vocals by bassist Tommy Stinson, with Axl Rose providing backing vocals. And lest you doubt its legitimacy — which you shouldn’t, because that is is clearly Rose and Stinson singing — guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal tweeted a confirmation that the track is real… a tweet which has since been taken down, presumably at the instruction of Mr. Rose. Guns N’ Roses fan sites such as MyGNRForum.com have also reportedly been asked to remove all links and references to the song. So, in other words, yeah, it’s legit.
I guess the real questions are:
- When was this recorded? Is it a discarded track from the Chinese Democracy sessions? It seems unlikely that Rose ever would have considered featuring a song on Democracy on which he didn’t sing lead, but who knows. But the solo at the very end of the track — particularly that solo’s use of a kill switch — sounds an awful lot like Buckethead, who left the band in 2004. So I don’t think this is a recent recording.
- Who plays on the track? Obviously Tommy Stinson and presumably Bumblefoot, since he’s heard it before. And like I said, I’m reasonably certain that’s Buckethead at the end. So I’d guess Bryan “Brain” Mantia is playing drums… but who the hell knows.
- And, of course, most importantly: How is it?
Even as one of the world’s last remaining GN’R fans (remember, I’m the dude who likes Chinese Democracy), my reaction to the track is that it’s pretty meh. It really sounds like a Tommy Stinson Village Gorilla Head-era solo track, which would be fine if it were, in fact, a Stinson solo tune… but it needs to be “GN’R”ed up a bit if you ask me.
Still, I suspect some fans will dig this simply because it sounds a lot more classic rockish than most of the material on Chinese Democracy. It’s not that hard to imagine the old band playing this song.
Listen to this before the lawyers yank it down: