Guns N' Roses
- Axl Rose - vocals
- Tracii Guns - lead guitar
- Izzy Stradlin - rhythm guitar
- Duff McKagan - bass guitar
- Robbie Gardner - drums
The name was derived from the names of two of the original members, Tracii Guns and Axl Rose. Earlier names of the band were Rose and Hollywood Rose. Although Tracii Guns left by the end of 1986, the Guns N' Roses name stayed. Both Tracii Guns and Robbie Gardner left to start a new band, L.A. Guns.
They were replaced by a former member of the band "London" named Slash, and drummer Stephen Adler replaced Gardner.
The line-up as above released three albums:
- Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide - a self-produced EP in 1986
- Appetite for Destruction - Their first LP under Geffen Records on August 21, 1987, sold 20 million copies, had three top 10 singles, and hit #1 on the charts. Appetite For Destruction is the #1 best selling debut album of all-time.
- G N' R Lies - released in 1988 hit #2 on the charts
Contributing Welcome to the Jungle to the soundtrack of movie The Dead Pool (in the Dirty Harry series) also gave them a couple of seconds onscreen in the movie.
Shortly after the release of "Lies", drummer Steve Adler was dismissed from the band, reportedly due to his unwillingness to address his heroin addiction. Other members addressed their addiction after Axl Rose spoke up about them "dancing with Mr. Brownstone " during their opening set for the Rolling Stones. In 1990 Guns N' Roses returned to the studio with new drummer Matt Sorum and keyboardist Dizzy Reed. On September 17, 1991 they released Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, which debuted as #2 and #1 on the charts.
After the release of the Use Your Illusion albums Guns N' Roses went on a 28-month-long world tour, during which Izzy Stradlin quit the band and was replaced by Gilby Clarke. The tour included The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. During this time, November Rain became the most requested video on MTV, eventually winning a VMA for best cinematography.
In 1993, Guns n' Roses released a collection of mostly punk covers entitled The Spaghetti Incident?. This album did not match the success of the Illusion albums, possibly a symptom of a changing musical climate. Grunge bands, such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, became the dominant trend in rock, outselling the established rock bands. In 1994 Axl fired Gilby Clarke. That same year, a cover version of The Rolling Stones' Sympathy for the Devil was recorded by the band, joined by Paul Huge (replacing Gilby Clarke), for the movie Interview with the Vampire. Several members started up their side projects (such as Slash with Slash's Snakepit and Duff McKagan in the Neurotic Outsiders . In 1996, Slash quit the band, citing creative differences with Axl. WIthin the following year, Duff and Matt also left the band, which left Axl as the sole original member.
In 1998 Axl Rose returned to the studio accompanied by:
- Josh Freese - drums (from Vandals)
- Tommy Stinson - bass (from The Replacements)
- Robin Finck - guitar (from Nine Inch Nails)
- Paul Huge (aka Paul Tobias) - guitar
- Dizzy Reed - keyboards
In 1999, the band released one new song, Oh My God, which was included on the soundtrack of End of Days . This song was intended to be a prelude for a new album, Chinese Democracy. GNR also released Live Era 87-93 , which was a collection of songs the original lineup recorded on the road between 1987 and 1993. Later that year, Finck returned to Nine Inch Nails briefly to record "Fragile."
In 2000, avant garde guitarist Buckethead joined Guns N` Roses.
The revised lineup returned to the stage in January of 2001 with two well-recieved concerts, one in Las Vegas and one in Rio de Janeiro. Consisting of Axl Rose, guitarists Buckethead, Robin Finck, and Paul Huge, bassist Tommy Stinson, keyboard players Dizzy Reed and Chris Pittman, and drummer Brain (formerly of Primus), the band played a mixture of old hits as well as new songs from their forthcoming album. The new lineup played two shows in Las Vegas at the end of 2001. During 2002, guitarist Paul Huge left the band and was replaced by Richard Fortus, formerly of the band Love Spit Love . The band then played several shows in August of 2002, headlining festivals and concerts in Asia and Europe, and then making their way to New York for a surprise appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards. A U.S. tour, the band's first since 1993, was planned. The tour got off to a bad start. The opening show in Vancouver was cancelled by the venue due to Axl not showing up in a timely maner. A riot ensued. Subsequent shows went on as planned. The tour was met with mixed results. Some concerts in smaller markets did not sell out, while shows in larger markets such as New York and Boston sold out in minutes. Due to a no show by Axl in Philadelphia and the resulting riot by fans, Clear Channel, the tour`s promoter, cancelled all remaining shows of the tour. As of September 2004 the band has not played a show since their December 5, 2002 concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Reports issued by the band in 2001 and 2002 claimed that Chinese Democracy was to be released later that year by Interscope/Geffen Records, with whom they had apparently patched up their differences (if any). It is set to release in November 2004. Despite Rose's protests, legal and otherwise, Geffen released a greatest hits album on March 23rd. Similarly, Cleopatra records released "Hollywood Rose: The Roots of Guns N' Roses" in early summer. Again, Rose failed to stop its release.
In March 2004 Buckethead left the band, causing Rose to cancel their May 30th appearance at Rock in Rio 4 in Lisbon, Portugal.
Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum have since formed the band Velvet Revolver with Scott Weiland. Izzy Stradlin continues to release solo albums while Steven Adler tours with his band Adler's Appetite (Formerly Suki Jones) and has plans to record with this band.
- Guns N' Roses Official Site;
- A big fan site dedicated to the NEW LINE-UP
- Gunsnroses.gr - A Greek Guns N' Roses site
- Paradise City, A GNR fan site;
- The band's newsgroup.