Archive and Search
« Best Overlooked Power Ballads? | Main | Slash and Ozzy to Tour »

Duff McKagan Joins Axl Rose On Stage - Does It Matter?

Last night, Duff McKagan joined Axl Rose - and the rest of Guns n' Roses - on stage in London. The show was the first time Rose and McKagan shared a stage in 17 years. So what does it mean?

McKagan helped out GnR with a few tunes including "Nice Boys," "You Could Be Mine" and "Knockin' On Heavens Door." Of course, this performance immediately kicked all those GnR reunion rumors into high gear. Again.

I say, "not so fast."

Sure, anything is possible but maybe everyone is reading too much into this McKagan-Rose merger. Maybe everything wasn't as tainted between the two as we've been led to believe?

Axl has made it very clear he never wants a full-fledged GnR reunion because he doesn't like Slash. To be specific, Rose told Billboard "What's clear is that one of the two of us will die before a reunion and however sad, ugly or unfortunate anyone views it, it is how it is. Those decisions were made a long time ago and reiterated year after year by one man."

So, while Axl is apparently getting along with Duff now, I'm not getting my hopes up for much more. Axl has a new version of Guns now, and that's okay. He owns the name and the other ex-Gunners have moved along with their collective lives. I'm not saying I wouldn't love a reunion - and I think it would do gang busters in ticket sales - but I just don't have the faith it's going to happen. At least, happen anytime soon. I would, however, love to know the back story behind this Duff-Axl surprise performance. I mean, who called who? Was Sebastian Bach involved? I read online that Axl and Duff were staying at the same hotel and they sort of "bumped into each other." That seems far fetched to me, but whatever.

What are your opinions?

Reader Comments (11)

i thinks its cool to see duff on stage with axl again.i really don't see a reunion happening soon , at least not with slash. that's the one man axl is talking about.he must have screwed him over pretty bad. i love the " new" GNR. i have listened to Chinese democracy on a daily basis since it came out.musically and lyrically, its great. AFD is a great cd too. it has that sleaze and dirty feel to it, were Chinese democracy has a totally different fell to it. i m glad i seen the original GNR back in the day. i m just waiting for them to do a U.S. tour again, hopefully soon.its been a few years.
October 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbumblefootboy
I would LOVE a reunion. I never saw the original line-up, and i would pay for this show. Appetite = Greatest Rock Album EVER!
October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian C.
October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi
For the time being, this has as much meaning as Izzy hopping up on stage a few years go. The reunion rumors heated up then, too. Sooner or later, Axl will begin work on another overblown, expensive project, burn through his money, and at that point, he'll pull a 180, and change his tune on a proper reunion. If I'm waiting around for Axl to come onstage an hour (or more!) late, he needs to have Slash, Duff, and Izzy in tow. And, sooner or later, people are going to get sick of putting up with his diva bullshit just to see a glorified cover band, and he'll have no choice but to call Slash.
October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWayne
That's really cool.

I've always thought that a reunion could happen. After all, they are only human, and at some point it's hard to say no to a dumptruck full of money.
October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBryon
I don't know if a full reunion will happen. Now even if it does Axl would have to take at least 20 yrs to finish the
October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShadow
I was at last night's concert at the O2 in London so I thought I'd tell you a little but about it... this is not a review, but more of a "fan-point-of-view" account of the whole experience...

Let me start by stating that the show was absolutely AMAZING!!!

Sebastian Bach opened for them, and he sounded better than I ever heard him since his days in Skid Row! He voice was clear and strong and he was having the time of his life on that stage!

I saw some videos of him from last night's show but they don't even do him justice, he kicked serious ass hitting all the high notes with ease and screaming like only Bach knows!

He played a lot of new material but it seemed that it was well received (his new album does rock!) and when he played Skid Row songs the slowly growing crowd went nuts!

Gn'R got on stage about an hour after Baz was done, which in Gn'R standards means they were almost early...

I guess you guys have seen the set list (or can find it easily enough) so I won't bore you with the minor details, but I do have to say it was the best vocal performance I've heard from Axl since the 1990's!

He was spot on! With a lot of energy, dancing and running across the stage, and in a good mood overall (or as he stated in one point in the show: "this would be a good time for a rant, but I'm in such a good mood I got nothing to rant about...").

The band was very tight and energetic, and they had good chemistry between the different players and with Axl.

And then Duff took the stage...
He just came outta nowhere with no introduction, took the bass from Tommy Stinson and just started rockin' the intro to you could be mine!! The crowd went absolutely wild! It was so cool to see him playing with them and you could tell Axl was feeding off of that energy cuz he was putting on a show! Axl may have gained a couple of pounds, but the look he had in his eyes and the way he sang sent me right back to 1992!

Duff left the stage after that song, they played a few more songs (some classics, some new), and then he came back playing a les Paul on "Nice Boys", it was cool seeing him play the guitar for a change and the song sounded excellent!!

Duff stayed on playing the guitar on Knocking on Heavens Door. The Gunners new live version of the song is longer and IMO not as tight as the original lineup's version, the song is dragged on by long solos between every chorus at the end, so the crowd participation part of the song is not as energetic as it used to be... still it was cool to see Axl show off his vocal abilities, singing the high choruses with ease and giving us those long spine chillin' screams we love.

Duff came back one last time for Patience, at first he was at the back playing the tambourine, but then he just walked up to bumblefoot and asked him for he's guitar, so Ron took a break while Duff was finishing the song on his acoustic.

My favorite part about Duff's appearance was to see him sing backup vocals with such energy the way he used to 20 years ago.

At the end Baz and duff joined the band for the final bow.

Throughout the show there was no special interaction between Axl and Duff. I thought it was because they were well aware of the reunion sh*t storm that would start following this show, so they wanted to still keep some distance between them.

Axl has said in the past that he doesn't rule out doing things with the original members (other than slash) as a "one off" kinda thing, and I think that is exactly what I saw last night.

As much as I would love a reunion, I don't think last night's show means anything, at least not in the foreseeable future. It seems to me that Axl is enjoying his current band members, and right now they sound better than ever! They were better than I expected them to be!

To sum things up, I think that a reunion is not very likely, Axl likes to do things his way, and he would have to give uo a lot of the control he fought so hard to obtain, because he cannot treat the original members the way he can treat his new "hired guns" (wouldn't that be a more fitting name to this band than Guns N' Roses?...).

Maybe someday Slash and Axl would be able to buרy the hatchet, but for now i think we should focus on finding out who's gonna be the new singer for Velvet Revolver...

hope this wasn't too long for you guys to read.

I'm out.
October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRockyRhoads
Great review Rocky, i'm kinda jealous andI'm not even a huge GNR fan.
I , for one , do not want to see a full fleged (sp?) reunion , as I feel that they are as big as they are because we know that they wont be back.
I just got done with Slash's book, and I am almost positive that it is his fault that GNR are no more as we knew them. which is not to say that Axl isnt insane , but he clearly chose drugs over everything and Axl wanted to be his heros , which to and extent, he is ...just my 2 cents
October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTommy
I read that book also Tommy, and I agree with Slash being an over the top junkie, but from what I took from it Mr. Rose's ego in wanting to be the controling force of the entire band lock, stock, and barrel has as much to do with the implosion as the drug problems that were so prevalent throughout the entire band.It's a shame the guy is basically insane, 'cause he is SOOO fucking talented.

Like was stated above about a reunion, you can never say never. Rock's history is littered with acts that swore they'd never reunite...
October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGary
It is what it is, and the ones there got a glimpse of the past. As for Axl, people rant all over the place about him and what he is doing, let it go.
He was and always will be the driving force behind GnR and love him or hate him he can still sing & write some incredible songs (Sorry, this I love). He is still standing weather you like it or not.
October 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlooksthatkill
As I am reading all your great posts, I was wondering if I should shoot my own story to you guys. In Sep of 1992 I saw Gn' R in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando FL. It was the "Use your Illusion" tour. They were amazing except Axl's rant (20 mins long) about Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love! Anyhow I was blown away. They Rocked. Well, the only bad part of it was Steven Adler was out by then and although Matt Sorum was good, Adler was the Original on Appetite. Now fast forward 18 years and Steven Adler's band (Adler's Appetite) came to St. Pete, Fl at the state Theatre and Rocked my world! I was fortunate enough to meet him outside the venue and he happily signed his book (My Appetite For Destruction)and was a completely good, nice guy to me and even thanked me for letting them play here in florida! Now I am complete, I saw all of the originals so far. Slash is coming in Feb 11' to Tampa and I plan on being there too! As far as a reunion,there isn't a price of a ticket I wouldn't pay to see them and their magic again. So, in closing, I want to thank whoever is responsible for allowing us fans to express our experiences and opinions, Thank You! One more thing, Gn'R fans, cross your fingers and , if it's your thing, say your prayers and maybe, just maybe, the real Guns will do it again!!!

Zakk out......
November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZakk

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.