Any metal fan knows of Guns N’ Roses’ influence on the music scene, rock or otherwise. Their videos were epic, hitting new heights in production value and cost. They released two albums, “Use Your Illusion” I and II back-to-back, and the albums debuted at Nos. 2 and 1, respectively. Their breakout album, “Appetite for Destruction,” released in 1987, turned the tide on hair metal, and along with a few other major rock bands, gave fans heavy metal with a punk’s attitude. The band’s antics on the road made headlines in any city GNR played (including Las Vegas).
With Guns N’ Roses returning to Vegas for the band’s second residency in The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, we thought we’d share our Top 5 reasons we are most looking forward to the return of Axl and company.
Tickets on sale for Guns N’ Roses – An Evening of Destruction. No Trickery!
1. We can show up late to the show and not worry that we missed the main act.
If you pregame before heading to a Guns N’ Roses concert, your buzz is likely to have worn off before the band hits the stage. The band — and by most accounts, Axl — is notoriously late.
During a previous performance, John Katsilometes — an entertainment reporter at the Las Vegas Sun — had enough time to attend a Barbra Streisand concert at the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip, drive to The Joint, park and walk over to the Hard Rock’s venue and he still had 45 minutes to spare. The show didn’t start until 20 minutes to midnight.
We celebrate Axl’s propensity for lateness because it means we have plenty of time to have drinks at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Center Bar, perhaps meet someone special, break up with someone special, enjoy even more drinks and still make it to the show on time.
2. Free chopper rides!
Here’s the story, as reported by several media outlets: GNR guitarist DJ Ashba was offered a ride in a Las Vegas police helicopter in August 2013 so he could propose to his girlfriend after a tour flying over the valley. After the flight, Ashba proposed to his girlfriend in a police yard, where roses and champagne were waiting for the soon-to-be-engaged couple. She said yes, he posted a photo of their flight together on photo sharing site Instagram and then all hell broke loose.
Following an investigation, a police captain retired rather than take a demotion and the helicopter’s pilot was transferred out of the aviation unit and lost his police flying privileges.
Even so, Ashba just reinforces our love of bad boy rockers – and what he did was totally romantic in a punk rock sort of way.
3. Dare we hope: Slash+Axl = BFF?
Among the best guitarists of all time, Slash is sadly no longer a GNR bandmate (the only original band member is Axl), but with every GNR appearance we all keep our fingers crossed that Slash and Axl can kiss and make up for an epic reunion of the band’s best known members.
Slash has been a regular on the Vegas scene, even at one point returning a guitar to the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas that he stole from the restaurant’s Orlando location years earlier.
On the theft, Slash said, ”It was in the dressing room (at the Orlando Hard Rock). I didn’t know what it was doing there, so I took it. I mean, it was in the dressing room and no one claimed it. So I’ve had it all these years and been playing it. But then I thought what better way to honor the Hard Rock for honoring me than to give it back, sort of.”
But alas, as for the split between Axl and Slash, it’s most certainly irreconcilable. The last time the two shared a stage was in July 1993 at the end of the 192-date Use Your Illusion tour. The two have hurled accusations and insults at each other over the years. Axl even refused to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of GNR. Many of the other band mates (Axl has gone through a few) did attend, including Slash.
In a letter declining his induction into the Hall of Fame (and printed by Rolling Stone), Axl wrote, “Maybe if it were you it’d be different. Maybe you’d do it for this reason or that. Peace, whatever. I love our band now. We’re there for each other when the going gets rough. We love our fans and work to give them every ounce of energy and heart we can.”
It may be a longshot, but this is Vegas where anything can happen. So we still hold out hope that when the band saunters on stage, Slash will grab his stolen guitar from the display case and start playing. Hell, we’d even settle for one of those holograms of Slash, like the stunning hologram of the late Freddie Mercury of Queen during the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in London 2012. And if that won’t happen (and it won’t), don’t you cry. There’s always this (watch closely and you might see the chopper!):
4. Bandannas will be sexy cool again
By the time Axl and crew get to The Joint, the summer heat will be upon us. Bandannas not only tell people “I rock out!,” but also serve a second purpose — keeping your forehead from burning under our blazing Vegas sun. Add in sunglasses and maybe a top hat, and you will have the iconic Axl Rose look. Perhaps not the charismatic bad boy rocker attitude, but we can work on that.
5. ‘Paradise City’ could become Vegas’ own Paradise Road
The Joint isn’t quite on the Strip, instead it’s a few blocks east on Paradise Road. So, that’s kinda cool in a “huh” sort of way. During the band’s last residency, the county commissioners even temporarily renamed the road “Paradise City Road.” No word if that signage will be going back up when the band returns in May.