I remember standing for hours in a long line outside a Tower Records on a cold autumn night in September 1991, anxiously waiting for it to hit midnight when the store began selling the new Guns N' Roses albums, Use Your Illusion I and II. By the time I got home after 1 AM, there were probably 20 other college kids in my dorm room, all excited to hear those CDs. When I walked in, the room erupted with this gutteral, enthused "Yeahhhhhhhh!!!!" By 2 AM that night, those albums were blaring out of maybe a dozen different windows throughout the building. But as the subsequent years dragged on (and on) waiting for the release of their long-delayed follow-up album, and as every one of the original line-up other than Axl Rose eventually quit the band, the passion of that night for Guns N' Roses steadily ebbed (for me and everyone else).
I bought their new album, Chinese Democracy, anyway, on the first day it was finally released in November 2008. Though I more or less dragged myself unenthusiastically to the store that day, as if I was begrudgingly fulfilling a promise that I'd made years ago. By then there weren't any lines. I walked right in and bought it, in maybe 30 seconds, and listened to it at home alone that afternoon. Axl granted no interviews to promote the release of the album, and Guns N' Roses didn't tour in support of it, which may partly explain why it flopped so badly.
But the "new" Guns N' Roses is now touring Canada, I learned today, reportedly as a warm-up for a United States tour this coming summer. And I was surprised to see this morning that Rolling Stone magazine has a very favorable review HERE of their concert in Winnipeg a couple of nights ago. This review also has over a dozen photos from the concert. Mercifully Axl has ditched the fake corn rows of the last few years. Maybe there's hope for the band yet. But has their star really fallen so far that they played to only 7,500 people in Winnipeg? ("Puppet Show and Guns N' Roses"?)