Rumor Alert: Does Axl Think “Better” of “Democracy”?
It goes without saying that Chinese Democracy has one of the most bizarre histories behind any album in rock and roll history. While most expected Guns N’ Roses to dissolve in the 1990s after nearly all of its members left or were ejected from the band, lead singer and solo original member Axl Rose was insistent that the band’s next album would come out. He remained insistent at various intervals between 1999 and the album’s eventual release in 2008, by which point the band lineup shifted around him, the band dabbled in industrial music and awkward comeback attempts on MTV, and fans shook their heads while reading The New York Times and drinking Dr. Pepper.
So Chinese Democracy has come and gone, and Axl and friends (what? do you call that GN’R?) have sporadically hit the road in support of the not-as-awful-as-you’d-think-but-nowhere-near-Appetite for Destruction LP. What’s next? Does anyone know or care? One person says he does, and the results are two ridiculous not to post here.
Mister Saint Laurent, a singer/songwriter/professional wrestler by trade (I swear I’m not making this up), posted on his official message board a claim to have received documents outlining another step in GN’R's comeback attempt, including “a very thorough and dedicated plan to re-market Chinese Democracy in the U.S. later this year”:
A full North American arena tour and Best Buy-exclusive reissue of Chinese Democracy would both launch on March 29. The tour would run through May 17 and hit 30 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Ft. Lauderdale, Boston, Detroit, Toronto, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Tampa, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Denver, San Jose, Calgary, Winnipeg, Omaha and Houston.
The album reissue would contain new artwork and a second disc containing bonus material. In addition to remixes of tracks from the album, the bonus disc would contain a new song “Blood in the Water” as well as a new version of “Better” featuring DJ Ashba, which would serve as the radio single for the reissue.
All of this would be announced February 7, with a secret show the day before the Super Bowl (February 5) at The Lodge in Dallas. Yet, it’s February 2 and those in the GN’R camp that were willing to speak to mistersaintlaurent.com insist they have not received any airfare or itinerary.
Now, why should one even consider such a theory? Really, there’s no reason you should. But the crazy thing is that Mister Saint Laurent has been mired in Chinese Democracy-oriented controversies for years. Since 2007, Laurent has been an alleged leaker of tracks and demos from the album. The facts don’t add up – I can’t see Best Buy agreeing to more copies of an album they already can’t get rid of – but who knows? Of course, this is all to be taken with a heap of salt, but I wonder how many of our readers would consider a reissue of Chinese Democracy if it existed.