thirty two years after its founding, guns n’ roses still rages, and its fans’ loyalty has never waned

by Jon Domenick

Currently on the ironically named Not in This Lifetime world tour, a reunited Guns N’ Roses was packing stadiums throughout the United States and Canada during July and August before heading to South America in September. A slew of dates have been added for fall, including three at Madison Square Garden (October 11, 15, and 16) and a stop at Newark’s Prudential Center on October 12.

Fans are rocking out to such hits as “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Used to Love Her,” “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” and “Sweet Child o’Mine,” (the super group’s only number one hit). Tunes both raunchy and riveting are taking audiences on a rollicking ride on the Way Back Machine to “GnR”’s founding in Los Angeles in 1985.

Irony marks the band’s history. For the 2016 book, Last of the Giants: The True Story of Guns N’ Roses (Trapeze), author Mick Wall recalls spent time with the band when members Duff McKagan, Slash, frontman Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, and Steven Adler lived together in what they termed Hell House. Saul “Slash” Hudson arrived in the California with his English parents at age 4 and grew up amidst celebrities. Record business titan David Geffen was one of his babysitters, and his father was an artist who designed an album cover for Joni Mitchell. Some years later, William Bruce Rose Jr. (aka Axl) and his friend Jeff Isbell (who later changed his name to Izzy Stradlin) met guitarist Tracii Guns, who connected them with Slash and Adler, and the resulting band’s moniker was a combination of Guns’ and Rose’s names.

Its 1987 debut album, Appetite for Destruction, reached number one on the Billboard 200 a year after its release, selling 30 million copies worldwide. Members have come and gone over the years, venturing into solo projects and playing with other bands. On July 20, they reunited for a raucous SiriusXM show at New York’s Apollo Theater to celebrate the album’s 30th anniversary.

GnR has released six studio albums, accumulating sales of more than 100 million records, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands, and only they know where the future will lead them once the current tour concludes at The Forum in Los Angeles on
November 29.

Guns N’ Roses

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