Guns N’ Roses Debut “Absurd” New Song

  • Axl Rosenberg

UPDATE: The studio version of the song has been officially released! Listen here.

True story: last night, in Brooklyn, I was like, “Hm, I haven’t listened to ‘Silkworms’ by Guns N’ Roses in awhile. I think I’ll put it on.” At roughly the same time, 200+ miles away, in Boston, GN’R were giving a new version of that very song, “Absurd,” it’s live debut.

Guys, am I psychic? I think I might be psychic.

ANYWAY, about “Absurd”/”Silkworms” —

The track was originally written by keyboardist Dizzy Reed and then-keyboardist Christ Pitman during sessions for Chinese Democracy. The band — which at that time featured no original members save for frontman Axl Rose — gave the song its debut in Las Vegas on January 1, 2001. They played it again a couple of weeks later, at that year’s Rock in Rio event, and almost a year later, they played it twice more, again in Las Vegas. At some point, a different semi-complete studio bootlegs of different iterations of the song leaked. And then… that was it. The song wasn’t on Chinese Democracy and they never played it again. It seemed destined to be lost to the memories of GN’R super-nerds like myself.

But it would appear that the band, which has since reunited with guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, have revived it in a re-jiggered form. This version leans more heavily into the song’s rock elements and all but completely removes the industrial/electronic bits that were so prominent in “Silkworms.” Which isn’t surprising; with Slash and Duff back in the band, it only makes sense to get to basics.

You can watch fan-filmed footage of “Absurd” below, along with “Silkworms,” for the sake of comparison.

Slash has said before that the band spent the quarantine working on new music. “Absurd” is proof of that… although we still have no idea when the band might release a new album or even just a studio single.

Upcoming Guns N’ Roses live dates are below:

AUG 5 – MetLife Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ [tickets]
AUG 8 – Comerica Park – Detroit, MI [tickets]
AUG 11 – Fargodome – Fargo, ND [tickets]
AUG 13 – Grizzly Stadium – Missoula, MT [tickets]
AUG 16 – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Denver, CO [tickets]
AUG 19 – Banc of California – Los Angeles, CA [tickets]
AUG 22 – MODA Center – Portland, OR [tickets]
AUG 25 – SAP Center at San Jose – San Jose, CA [tickets]
AUG 27 – Venue TBA – Las Vegas, NV [tickets]
AUG 30 – Phoenix Suns Arena – Phoenix, AZ [tickets]
SEP 1 – American Airlines Center – Dallas, TX [tickets]
SEP 8 – Lucas Oil Stadium – Detroit, MI [tickets]
SEP 11 – Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena – Atlantic City, NJ [tickets]
SEP 12 – Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena – Atlantic City, NJ [tickets]
SEP 16 – Wrigley Field – Chicago, IL [tickets]
SEP 21 – Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, MN [tickets]
SEP 23 – Schottenstein Center – Columbus, OH [tickets]
SEP 26 Royal Farms Arena – Baltimore, MD [tickets]
SEP 29 – PNC Arena – Raleigh, NC [tickets]
OCT 2 – Hard Rock Live Arena – Hollywood, FL [tickets]
OCT 3 – Hard Rock Live Arena- Hollywood, FL [tickets]

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