Right now, Guns n' Roses are onstage rocking their first show in support of Chinese Democracy in Taipei, Taiwan, according to the band's official Twitter, which launched today. (Watch footage from the band's sound check below.)
As Rolling Stone reported yesterday, frontman Axl Rose was involved in a scuffle at Los Angeles International Airport as he traveled to the band's first of four East Asian tour dates. TMZ now adds that Rose punched an "overzealous paparazzo" in the head, and the photographer claims to have footage of the altercation. UPDATE: The footage has been posted on TMZ; watch it below. LAX police told Rolling Stone they had no record of the incident.
The photographer says Rose arrived at the airport with a woman in tow, and that he tried snapping a few photos of the couple. The woman, who was not named, got into a confrontation with the photogs, and when Rose noticed her scuffling with the paps he instantly started throwing punches.
A press statement released by Levine Communications Office, the public-relations firm that represents Rose and the band, defends Rose's actions, and lays the blame flatly with the paparazzo.
"Axl Rose ... was unhurt last evening when he was accosted by an unruly group of paparazzi at Los Angeles International Airport," the statement, which is posted on the band's MySpace, reads. "At the time of the incident, Mr. Rose was en-route to Taipei, Taiwan, to kick off Guns N' Roses' tour of Southeast Asia including shows in Taiwan, Korea and Japan. Mr. Rose, who was about to enter a security checkpoint at LAX when the altercation took place, was approached by a group of unchecked and unruly photographers who became aggressive with the singer and female members of the traveling group."
The statement continues that Rose "was not injured during the unprovoked attack and was able to board his flight without further incident."
Rolling Stone will have updates on the band's first gig in nearly three years as information becomes available. Guns n' Roses have scheduled shows in Canada during January and February, and South America in March and April. No U.S. dates have been announced.
• Axl Rose Fights Photographer at L.A. Airport En Route to Guns n' Roses Tour
• Guns n' Roses Announce Plans to Tour South America In March 2010
• Guns n' Roses "Vigorously Contest" Claims "Chinese Democracy" Stole a Sample