Music Matters

My thoughts on the future of Guns N’ Roses

/ 12:01 AM August 04, 2015

Yes, kids, the band is still around and are doing quite well. Each time they tour and do shows in the UK which are often, they are sold out. Now, before some of the readers start scratching their heads wondering why Guns N’ Roses is still relevant and worth talking about, let me just say first that it is because there are music aficionados like myself who did not believe the band had “died” after the then only other original member, Slash, decided to leave the band way back in 1996. To the Rock historians, you guys certainly know what I am talking about here. Even with the departure of Slash from the band, Axl Rose took it upon himself to make sure that no matter what Guns N’ Roses would go on with himself at the helm, of course.

During those challenged-filled years for Axl Rose to keep Guns N’ Roses alive, it was a revolving door of talented and underrated musicians filling in the vacant slots left behind by the classic line-up consisting of Slash, Duff Mckagan, Izzy Stradlin and Matt Sorum. Personally, of all the past members who have joined Axl Rose in that extensive alumni list after the classic line-up, it was the strange but uber technically talented Buckethead who was my favorite.


For those unaware of who I am referring to, Buckethead is a virtuoso guitarist who has amassed a sizable cult following since the late 90’s. He always wears a KFC bucket over his head, hence his moniker; also, he dons a yellow raincoat and a white Michael Myers-like mask to conceal his true identity. All of these are all part of his onstage persona but once you hear and see him play, you could get past all the eccentricities and would realize why Axl Rose recruited him in the first place and why Buckethead became a favorite of many long time fans of Guns N’ Roses.

Now, speaking of guitarists who have become part of the long history of Guns N’ Roses, after getting to read the confirmed reports just recently have it that long time guitarist DJ Ashba has called it quits and will no longer be in the band. This time again the future of the band is in question. In my opinion, though, as long as Axl Rose manages to get out of his self’-isolation every now and then to tour and perform, then I can say that the band Guns N’ Roses–his band, actually since he intellectually owns the property rights to the name and everything else directly connected to the band, Guns N’ Roses will continue to exist because of that. Plus, it is a virtual guarantee that Axl Rose will have no problem at all in finding a suitable replacement for DJ Ashba.


When I think of it, I find it rather amazing how long Axl Rose has managed to keep getting all these musicians–excellent ones at that in their own rights–to fill in the void and vacancies, such as would be the case for DJ Ashba.

What grabs my attention even more is that to this very day, Axl Rose is the only remaining original member and he managed magnificently to survive all the “drama” and turmoil that have beset Guns N’ Roses.

As a kid who was just a few years short from entering my teens, I still remember that even then in the late 90’s–in 1998 to be exact–fans and music aficionados had pondered and wondered how Guns N’ Roses could ever go on with only Axl Rose remaining?

I would learn the answer to that puzzling question years later. You just have to leave it to Axl Rose to cut through all the “red tape” and to battle the seemingly never-ending legal issues revolving around the Guns N’ Roses name because to his credit and with firm resolve intact, Axl Rose kept fighting on for his band to continue, release new music, and tour.

Not a lot of people know this, especially the uninformed, that most of the original ex-members of Guns N’ Roses did not want their own former frontman Axl Rose to succeed in keeping the band alive and kicking without them. And yet, when the former members themselves formed their own bands–a perfect example of this was Velvet Revolver–they would regularly throw in a few classic staples from their Guns N’ Roses days in their set list when they would hold concerts and perform in the big music festivals.

So, why then, of all people, could Axl Rose not sing any of those classics of which he was the original singer?! I say this, since it is the distinctive and unmistakable voice of Axl Rose that always has reverberated with me–and every other fan, I’ll bet–each time I hear any Guns N’ Roses tracks being played, then Axl Rose has all the right to sing their classics!

To this day, each time I go online and search for the latest uploaded live performances of Guns N’ Roses, I can’t but help smile to know that one of my childhood Rock N’ Roll heroes, Axl Rose, is still around.


For those who have persistently bashed the man comparing how he would sing the classics now and how Axl Rose used to sing them then more than 20 years ago, that is stupid talk for a bunch of “keyboard warriors” who I bet cannot even sing and hold those high notes which Axl Rose can still do fairly well given his age now. Whether you like him or not is beside the point. The man is a legitimate Rock Star; he is one of the greatest vocalists of all time and he definitely belongs in a league of his own. Even today, no one can truly match his mystic, stage presence and just the way he is an artist! Truly, it goes without saying that Axl Rose has definitely become part of Rock N’ Roll folklore!

Whatever the future holds for Axl Rose and his band, Guns N’ Roses, one thing is certain. No one, but no one, and nothing else can erase what Axl Rose has accomplished and achieved. If ever a book would be made that chronicles everything about Rock N’ Roll history, a chapter would not be enough on this legendary band.

We don’t know what the future holds.

But nothing can erase the past.

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TAGS: Entertainment, Guns N' Roses, Music
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