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Friday, March 30, 2007



Guns N' Roses

In their prime, Guns N' Roses were all about excess: Substance abuse, controversial lyrics and inciting riots earned them the title "world's most dangerous band" in the late 1980s. However cliched, GNR's gloriously over-the-top sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll antics endeared them to millions.

News photo
Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses

Things began to unravel for the Hollywood sextet in the mid-'90s. Tired of vocalist Axl Rose's temperamental outbursts, original members Slash and Duff McKagan quit. So Rose recruited a motley assortment of backing musicians for his next album, which, almost 10 years in the making, has yet to surface -- even if a title has emerged, "Chinese Democracy." In February, GNR said that the recording was complete, but still had to be mixed.

Having racked up astronomical production costs, Rose has toured sporadically since 2001 with a supporting cast that includes ex-Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck and former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson. Relying heavily on what could be considered "covers" of GNR hits, as well as several new songs that sound like standard bar-band fare, many have ridiculed the aging frontman for being a mockery of his former self. Despite this, reviews from last fall's North American dates were on the whole favorable. Fans can debate GNR's continued relevance in April when they play Japan for the first time since headlining 2002's Summer Sonic festival.

Guns N' Roses play April 14 (5 p.m.) and 15 (4 p.m.) at Makuhari Messe, Chiba; 18 (6 p.m.) at Nagoya Rainbow Hall; 21 (5 p.m.) and 22 (4 p.m.) at Intex Osaka. Tickets for the Messe concerts are 10,000 yen and 12,000 yen. All other shows are 12,000 yen. For tickets, call (03) 5466-0777 or visit www.creativeman.co.jp

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