Rumors about a Guns N’ Roses classic-lineup reunion are again swirling, fueled by a series of cryptic dispatches from the band’s official Twitter and a dubious claim made by a former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star. The latest wave of speculation follows August reports that Slash and Axl Rose had mended their longstanding rift. While bands get back together every year, the prospect of a GN’R reunion seems especially noteworthy, mainly because of how much acrimony has brewed between the former members since their piecemeal mid-Nineties breakup. Here, we offer a refresher course on the worst of GN’R’s interband mudslinging.
1. “Personally I consider [Slash] a cancer and better removed, avoided — and the less anyone heard of him or his supporters, the better.” —Axl Rose, during a post–Chinese Democracy interview in 2009.
3. “Our roadies would stand behind Izzy’s amps, ’cause Izzy would be so whacked of his mind that he would basically be playing a different song in a different key, and the only way we could do the songs is, every time he would go to his amps, he would turn his amps up and he would turn around, to the crowd. When he would turn around to the crowd, the roadies would reach around and turn his amps back down so that we could play the song.” —Axl, onstage in Boston in 2002.
4. “That’s it, I’m done with him; I’m never mentioning him or talking about him again.” —Steven Adler on Rose to Rolling Stone in 2012.
5. “That’s been 13 years since I’ve played in that band, and I’ve done five, six albums since I played in that band and 10 tours, and Axl hasn’t done shit, so I don’t know what to tell you.” —Sorum, when asked about GN’R reunion rumors in 2007.
6. Sorum was a “former employee” —Rose, in a 1999 statement concerning GN’R’s contribution to the End of Days soundtrack.
7. “I don’t see Axl, though. I don’t see ‘Asshole.'” —Adler, when asked about his contact with former bandmates in 2005.
8. “He’s in my ass — that’s where Slash is.” —Rose, onstage in Leeds in 2002, in response to a fan’s “Where’s Slash?” shirt.
9. “Well, you know, spontaneity and rock & roll go together. And chemistry. It comes back to the old adage: If it takes you more than five minutes to write a song, then just scrap it. I don’t know. Axl Rose is a very, very fickle guy, and he changes his mind all the time. So who knows?” —Duff McKagan, when asked about Rose’s notoriously long-gestating Chinese Democracy in 2005.
10. “Oh, those memories are tarnished. They’ve been tarnished for a long time.” —Adler, when asked to reflect on his time in GN’R in 2009.
11. “Neither former members, label representatives nor the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should imply whether directly, indirectly or by omission that I am included in any purported induction of ‘Guns N’ Roses.'” —Rose, declining his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2012.
12. “He’s insane — that’s it. The bottom line — the fucker’s insane. I said it. OK, fine, fuck me. I said it — he’s insane. I try and try to be fucking so cool about him … I swear to God, he’s a nutball.” —Adler, when asked about Rose’s current GN’R lineup in 2010.