Axl Rose, Slash to Reunite Guns N' Roses at Coachella - Rolling Stone
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Axl Rose, Slash to Reunite Guns N’ Roses at Coachella

The duo will play together for first time since 1993

Axl Rose; SlashAxl Rose; Slash

Axl Rose and Slash will reunite Guns N' Roses next year when the band plays Coachella

Rex, Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP

UPDATE: Guns N’ Roses have announced their first non-U.S. gig for the reunited group. The band will play Mexican venue Foro Sol on April 19th in between Coachella weekends, according to NME.

It’s official: Slash will reunite with Guns N’ Roses and Axl Rose. The band will play Coachella on the weekends of April 15-17 and April 22-24, according to the New York Times. It’s still unclear if original members Steven AdlerIzzy Stradlin and Duff McKagan, all of whom appeared on the group’s 1986 album Appetite for Destruction, or subsequent members Matt Sorum and Dizzy Reed, will join the shows. 

According to Billboard, the band is also in negotiations for a North American headlining tour. The group has reportedly asked for up to $3 million per show, with tickets reported to cost up to $275 per night for the reunion tour. 

Rose is set to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live next week to discuss the group’s future plans for the first time.

Rumors of the classic lineup’s reunion were first sparked when Slash told CBS This Morning in May of this year that the “tension … has dissipated” between Rose and him. “We don’t have all those issues anymore,” he said. “There’s not a lot of controversy. It’s something that’s more perpetuated by the media than anything.” A few months later, he revealed that he’d spoken to the singer.

News that two longtime Guns N’ Roses guitarists were quitting fueled more rumors. DJ Ashba announced his departure in July 2015, while Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal’s quiet 2014 departure was revealed a few days later.

More speculation about a reunion arose during a paparazzi interview with McKagan’s wife, Susan Holmes-McKagan, and former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville. “Guns N’ Roses is coming back, motherfuckers,” the reality star said, to which the bassist’s wife replied, “Woo!”

Around the same time, Guns N’ Roses issued a series of quizzical tweets. “What ever happened to no news is good news?” the first one began. “Of course, today everyone is a journalist. If only they could read lips … Surely they’ll read between the lines.”

December has been heavy on hints from the band about a potential reunion. Guns N’ Roses’ official website was updated with the band’s classic logo, and fans were quick to notice a mysterious teaser that played in theaters before Star Wars: The Force Awakens that featured “Welcome to the Jungle” being played over black-and-white crowd shots before a screen that says “Coming Soon.”

McKagan fueled more rumors when he posted a photo of his “LAMF” tattoo while holding a bass; the tattoo stands for “Like a Motherfucker” and is a nod to Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. The band and McKagan’s time with Guns N’ Roses are heavily intertwined as the bassist covered their song “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory” on The Spaghetti Incident? and dedicated G N’ R’s “So Fine” off Use Your Illusion II to the band.

Although the Rose-fronted band has never officially broken up, despite years of inactivity between albums, the group fell apart, piece by piece, in the Nineties, fueled by acrimony between Rose and Slash. The pair subsequently engaged in a bitter war of words for years. At worst, the singer called Slash “a cancer,” with the guitarist shrugging it off. “It’s like, ‘Whatever, dude.’ It doesn’t really matter,” he said in 2012.

Through it all, Rose kept Guns N’ Roses going, bringing in and dismissing new members, as he worked on what would become Chinese Democracy. The only constant member who’d played on any previous records, other than the singer, was keyboardist Dizzy Reed who’d joined the fold in 1990.

All of the members of Guns N’ Roses’ classic lineup, save Rose, Stradlin and Reed, played together at the group’s 2012 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Joined by Slash vocalist Kennedy and “Spaghetti Incident”–era guitarist Gilby Clarke, the musicians played “Mr. Brownstone,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City.”

The last time Rose and Slash played together was in July 1993, when Guns N’ Roses ended their Skin N’ Bones tour. Rose has reunited with the other members intermittently over the years. Stradlin joined the group most recently for a couple Las Vegas gigs in 2012. McKagan did a run of gigs, while bassist Tommy Stinson did a run of Replacements reunion gigs, in 2014.


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