Metallica did it three years ago and dissenters christened it the end of the alternative era as we know it. Now, one-time tour mates and equally un-alternative act Guns n’ Roses may be following in the footsteps of their current archenemies by signing up to headline Lollapalooza. |Though discussions are in early stages, the G n’ R camp has been contacted about joining the summer alt-fest; the news comes one year after the ground-breaking festival was cancelled for the first time since it began eight years ago.
According to a source close to G n’ R, Lollapalooza organizers at the William Morris Agency approached the band’s management about joining the tour and, though “there’s nothing firm about it,” the two parties are discussing the possibility. The negotiations alone signal that the band may actually have a new album out some time this summer. “We wouldn’t be discussing it if we didn’t think they could [get it out in time for the tour to start],” says the source. An additional source says Guns n’ Roses have also been contacted to appear on the annual OzzFest tour.
Aside from Guns n’ Roses, which only shares frontman Axl Rose and keyboardist Dizzy Reed with the band that toured with Metallica in 1992, other bands contacted by Lollapalooza honchos include the Offspring, Marilyn Manson and No Doubt. However, Ted Gardner, co-organizer of Lollapalooza, says “Manson’s totally out of the picture,” a statement echoed by other parties involved in negotiations. Both the Offspring and No Doubt, too, both appear to be long-shot candidates to join the fest, according to several sources close to the bands.
With this in mind, it’s still not a lock that Lollapalooza will even roll out this year, according to Gardner. However, he says “the possibility is very, very strong,” and adds that there’s a seventy-five percent chance there will be a Lollapalooza ’99, up from fifty percent before Christmas.
The possibility does exist that even if Lollapalooza does rise again it will be more mainstream than usual. Gardner says the tour committee is eyeing bands in the mold of Collective Soul and the Goo Goo Dolls. “The parameters have changed where kids are now dictating to us, to other tours, what they consider to be cool,” he says. “You can combine that. You can throw a few curveballs. You gotta look around you, though, and see what the kids like.”