Buried deep in an article about Guns n' Roses guitarist Richard Fortus and his one-night reunion with Pale Divine is this bit of potentially huge news: A Gn'R tour should start in late March and is expected to last "at least two years," according to Fortus. The band had hinted at a possible tour on their official Website in April, saying the fifth Chinese Democracy tour since 2001 was in negotiations — "When we begin to put tour plans together, we'll see where things are," the band said at the time — and a source close to the band told Rolling Stone an '09 tour was in the works. With album sales slumping and Axl Rose still reluctant to conduct any interview outside of message board forums, a tour is just what the album needs for a promotional boost. If the March start date is correct, it puts Guns in a position to headline several huge festivals in 2009 on both sides of the Atlantic.
Fortus has played guitar in some capacity for Gn'R since 2002, when Axl Rose's friend Paul Tobias left the group's revolving-door guitarist job. Currently, Fortus is the lead guitarist on Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad tour. A St. Louis native, Fortus says he and Axl joked about returning to the city where, in 1991, Rose caused a riot after he stormed offstage because a photographer in the crowd ticked him off. "There has been talk of us doing a Love tour, a tour of all the cities where there have been riots, and doing free shows," Fortus said.
We'll remain optimistic about a Guns tour but again, this is the gloriously unpredictable Axl Rose we're dealing with. We were all promised a video for "Better" two weeks ago and are still waiting on that.
• Why "Black Ice" Beat "Chinese Democracy": The Tale of Wal-Mart Vs. Best Buy
• Did Axl Rose Swindle Guns n' Roses and Steal Slash's Song? A Guide to Rose's Online Rants
• David Fricke's Review: Chinese Democracy