The Only Condition Axl Rose Had To Reform Guns N’ Roses

When Guns N’ Roses started their music career in 1986 and signed to Geffen Records, the band consisted of Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, and Steven Adler. Following a series of lineup changes, GN’R’s current members are Rose, Slash, McKagan, Richard Fortus, Frank Ferrer, Dizzy Reed, and Melissa Reese.

Following the release of the ‘Use Your Illusion I & II’ albums in 1991, Guns N’ Roses dropped the ‘The Spaghetti Incident?’ album in 1993. However, Slash and McKagan left Guns N’ Roses left the band a couple of years later due to creative differences. By 1998, only Axl Rose and Reed remained in the band from the Illusion-era lineup. After years of work, the band released their long-awaited sixth album ‘Chinese Democracy’ in 2008.

With this album, Axl Rose tried to experiment with various music elements and expand the band’s sound. Although he released the album under Guns N’ Roses’ name, it was more like an Axl Rose solo album. Before the band’s induction to Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2012, Rose revealed the only way he could reform the band.

Axl Rose Thought Guns N’ Roses Would Only Continue With Slash And Duff McKagan

Back in October 1996, Slash left Guns N’ Roses due to tensions that arose from creative differences. In August 1997, McKagan also left the band as he had recently become e a father and was frustrated due to the band’s lack of productivity. By 1998, Guns N’ Roses had a whole new lineup, including Rose, Stinson, Freese, Finck, Tobias, Reed, and Chris Pitman.

In 1997, Axl Rose and Reed started working with various musicians for their ‘Chinese Democracy’ album. Due to Axl Rose’s perfectionism, lineup changes, and other issues, the album’s recording process took way longer than expected and was released on November 23, 2008. Rose had shut the doors for a reunion with Slash in those days but left them open for McKagan and Stradlin.

After a series of lineup changes, Guns N’ Roses continued touring and occasionally appearing on various venues. On December 7, 2011, it was announced that the classic lineup of Guns N’ Roses would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fans were eager to see the original lineup together again, but Rose announced that he wouldn’t be attending the induction.

In an interview that took place at that time, he talked about the possibility of a reformed GN’R. Speaking to Los Angeles Times, Axl Rose said that he could bring the ‘Illusion’ lineup back in the band, but the only thing that would make GN’R the band it was back then would be reuniting with McKagan and Slash back. Following that, he said he didn’t want to offend Adler or Stradlin with his words and compared the band’s current lineup with the former one.

Axl Rose told Los Angeles Times that:

“You can get guys from the ‘Illusion’ thing, but the only thing that would make it would be Duff and Slash, really. It’s nothing against Izzy, and it’s nothing against Steven or anything like that. Steven may want it, but these guys I’m working with right now, work really hard, and it’s hard work. I’ve toured with the other guys and I’ve also seen what they’ve done since, and I just know the difficulties.”

On December 29, 2015, it was rumored that Slash would rejoin the band, and a reformed lineup will headline Coachella 2016. On January 4, 2015, the rumors were verified with some announcements, and Slash rejoined GN’R with McKagan. Since then, Guns N’ Roses has continued their music career along with the pair.