If Lollapalooza doesn't happen for the second straight year, it won't be for lack of trying.
Despite reports that organizers for the summer festival have all but signed the "do not resuscitate" papers, there still remains the strong possibility that the alterna-tour will breathe on its own with Bush and Rob Zombie performing the CPR.
As usual, no bands have been confirmed for the festival, but Bush, for one, have been in discussions for the past "couple of weeks" to headline the tour, according to band manager David Dorrell. "[We've] been talking to [Lollapalooza organizers] but, then again," Dorrell says, "Axl Rose has been talking to them." Dorrell refers to Guns n' Roses' preliminary negotiations to join the tour, which have since ended.
Whether or not Bush headline Lollapalooza '99 may depend on whether the group can get The Science of Things into stores in time for the festival to roll out. Bush spokesman Michael Pagnotta expects the album to be released in mid-to-late May, while Dorrell won't say for sure when it'll be out. Lollapalooza co-organizer Ted Gardner says the tour can be customized around bands' schedules, if needed. "The good thing about Lollapalooza is we can vary the time frame depending on if the band has a record [being released] in late June," he says. "We'll move the tour to the latter part of June or early July [if that's the case]." Bush's additional considerations concern the money offered (obviously) and what other artists are interested in joining the line-up. Already, acts like the Offspring, Guns n' Roses, Marilyn Manson and, recently, Everlast have ended negotiations or turned down offers to play on the tour.
And as difficult as it may be for some to stomach Bush joining Lollapalooza, imagine the British grunge act having to follow the on-stage frenzy of Rob Zombie -- unless, of course, the ghoul-rocker gets a better offer from OzzFest. "We're talking to both [Lollapalooza and OzzFest]," says Rob Zombie manager Andy Gould. "For us the primary focus is where the tours go and, more importantly, who's on the tours." Several managers and booking agents also mentioned Korn, who played Lollapalooza two years ago and are currently co-headlining a tour with Zombie, as another possible headliner. (Remember both Bush and Korn share the same William Morris booking agent, and it's the William Morris Agency that books Lollapalooza.) Korn manager Jeff Kwantinetz, however, quashed those suggestions. "It's not true," he says, adding that it's "very possible" Korn will return to the studio this summer to record the follow-up to last year's Follow the Leader prior to another stint on their Family Values tour.
With the line-up in its usual state of flux, Gardener is curiously more concerned with the "actual routing of the tour" and is still optimistic it will roll out. "I'm always hoping it'll work," he says. "I'd love to do it again, just to see what happens."