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I Wish I Could Attend a GnR Listening Party...

As I continue to get older (29 now, thank you) I tend to realize that I like living in Ohio more and more. Sure, I like to travel. Actually, I love traveling. I like going to beaches and cities and anywhere in between. Still, at the end of the day, I usually decide there's a lot I like about Ohio. That said, right now I'm wishing I lived somewhere else.

Guns n' Roses are throwing free Chinese Democracy listening parties in big cities all over the country. Places like New York City, Chicago and Detroit all get parties. I get squat.

During the listening party, fans will get to hear Chinese Democracy for the "first" time. Naturally, you can't have any electronic devices while attending the party - but still - I can do wonders with a pen and notepad.

As we all know, Chinese Democracy is set to finally release November 23 through Best Buy. The thing about the listening parties is not that you get to hear the music. It's that you are experiencing a special moment with a bunch of other people. In a lot of ways, the release of Chinese Democracy encompasses the entire zeitgeist of a generation. The kids who grew up on Appetite for Destruction now have jobs - and their own families. While Appetite was dangerous, ChiDem is a bit of mystery which will likely fail to live up to the impossible hype. For some, hearing new Guns n' Roses music in over a decade in a room full of strangers is a bit like reliving the past. In a sense, Axl Rose's over-litigious ways have kept us all from illegally downloading Chinese Democracy in our homes. Sure, plenty of you have ripped off the band and the labels, but others have stood strong. The ones that have stood strong - like me - would like a shot at hearing the album before the release date. This is the beauty of the listening party. Sure, people make fun of Axl's attorneys and their cease and desist letters - but consider this: in a time when most of us only relate to family and friends through machines and other tech toys, Axl Rose has forced humans to come together once again (face-to-face no less!) to listen to music. You know, the way it was back in the 1980s.

Since I don't live in a big city, I'll just wait until release day to get my hands on Chinese Democracy. In the meantime, let me know if you're going to one of these listening parties. I'd like to hear about your experience.

Reader Comments (16)

I'm close enough to Chicago's listening party (2 hour ride) to go to the listening party, but I will probably pass. I am planning on traveling to my nearest Best Buy (1 hour ride) on the 23rd to get the new CD.

That was some insightful writing that hit my feelings right on the head, because for some reason, I'm not on the hunt for leaks of Chinese Democracy. I want to wait and though it contradicts what I said in my last comment (on liner notes, album art etc..), I'm very much looking forward to traveling in my car, buying the CD (first one since Crue's SOLA) and popping it the Cd player and listening at maximum volume on the drive home.

Axl has a way about his business that can get annoying and sometimes disappoints, but without a doubt there is some major anticipation from this particular metal head.
November 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTodd
axl is forcing people to come together huh? not sure if that was the right way to phrase it since forcing gives the idea that it's against their will but ok. i'm going to wait to see if this is worth spending my money on. to be honest, i'm not holding my breath, anxiously waiting this release. it hasn't been a big deal for me for a long time. axl lost any momentum he had and now he's an afterthought for me. there are few artists out there anymore that i will buy their new cd without hearing some of it first to see if it's worth it. i did buy ac/dc and tesla after hearing the first song that each band released and alejandro escovedo had several tracks from his newest cd playing on his website. that just whetted my appetite and made me want to buy the cd and support those artists all the more. i also do not live in a city big enough for a listening party but i'll see what others say, watch a video or listen to a few songs and then make up my mind. personal taste is just that. personal. but do i think a person deserves to go to the listening party simply because they fight the good fight and have never downloaded a song? nope. axl has done what he chose and that's his right. now we can do what we choose. i choose to wait and see what this new cd will sound like before spending my money. i just don't have that much disposable cash to go out and buy cd's without hearing them first. it's late, i'm tired and rambling so good night, i'm done.
November 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdon
i will wait - wont be any listening party over here thats for sure but from what ive heard - someone posted a link on a forum i frequent - so i clicked, i listened but i didnt like what i heard - i will wait to hear some other tracks before i commit to buy.
Still cant bring myself to call it GnR tho - but thats me.
November 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred6ixx
I Live in Gay Ass Georgia so i feel ur pain andill be getting it when it comes out though!
November 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMotleyCrue666
Does anyone know how to find info about listening parties in the Detroit area? I looked on line briefly but must have been using the wrong key phases in my search.
November 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterreptileblvd
Axl is a jack-donkey...and that's being polite. To call this GNR is a slam to the great band that WAS GNR. I can't wait for the tour to start, to see how long it takes him to start not showing up for the shows - last time it was what, the 1st show? sheesh, gimme a break.
November 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterspiffy
I agree with Todd. Though the hype has died down, I will be anxious to hear the new stuff. Are there any parties near Baltimore ?
November 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDamnp78
To the person asking about Detroit, its at St. Andrews Hall on 11/20 and my husband and I are so going.
November 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMary
Live in England, so there'll be no go for me.
But i'll definitely be buying it off amazon, or i-tunes as soon as it comes out.
I thought the release date was the 25th of november?
November 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLucifer
Girl if you think its hard living in Ohio...try living in the south where the only music that comes through is country...

I think the closest listening party to me is Atlanta, which is still a 5 hour drive. Its too bad because I would probably go. I'm naturally curious about the album and even though I'm sure it isn't going to live up to my expectations, I'm looking forward to at least hearing it. I hope everyone who goes has a great time!
November 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterr0ck0n
1. One of the major reasons I left the midwest to live in a real city was for music opportunities. For the past 8 years, I have lived in the Bay Area. I'm 20 minutes away from San Francisco, where I've seen and done things I would never be able to experience anywhere else. Hey, where else can you live and see Tesla 3 times in 3 cities in 3 days and not have to travel more than an hour and a half to do so? :) For a music geek, living near a big city is a huge advantage. And tho I would never live in the midwest again, I can see the lure in it given certain circumstances (like, I having/raising kids).

2. As for a GnR listening party, I'm done with Axl Rose. His psychotic behavior over the years has convinced me that as a fan, personality of a band member *does* matter, and is a small reflection of his/her music. Personally, I never thought he was the brains behind GnR, and as history has shown, he isn't/wasn't. This record is not a GnR record. it's an Axl Rose record. And if you're lookin for some experimental, industrial, angry [insert genre that he might fit into, cause it isn't rock/metal] in my book, then it's probly something worth listening to. But, I'm looking for a certain sound, and it doesn't exist in his world anymore. Damn shame, too!
November 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermissy
I totally agree with the two people talking about the South(Georgia specifically)...I moved from Michigan and so much more happened there.Nothing really happens in ATL. I've heard parts of the album I think its bad. It does not have the energy, music and vocals of previous GNR albums. The orginal line up needs to get back together(even Steven if he's able to play after all the years of drugs)
November 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMadeline
Yes Allyson, I'm sure the reasoning behind the cease and desist letters from Axl's attorneys was to bring humans together in a big communal G&R moment. so was the FBI arrest of Kevin Cogill. I love your blog allyson, but honestly, does Axl have incriminating pictures of you or something? :)
November 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Lucifer, UK release date is 24th November. I've already ordered my copy and can't wait to get my hands on it. :)
November 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercinnamon
Thanks Mary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
November 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterreptileblvd
I've heard the entire album, and I didn't like what I heard. It's not GNR, it's an Axl Solo record at best, The only resemblance of GNR is Axl's voice, But the resemblance stops there. Sad. At least the bands the other True GNR members are part of, are making GOOD music. Just my 2 Cents.
November 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGNRLies

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