Friday, December 21, 2012

Rock News Artist Of The Year #2: GUNS N’ ROSES

As part of the 2012 hennemusic Rock News Awards – recognizing the biggest rock news stories and artists of the year - hennemusic is counting down the Top 10 Rock News Artists of the year.

Finalists for the 3rd annual hennemusic Rock News Awards are chosen by readers: winners are determined by the combined total page views of the top 50 hennemusic rock news stories of the past twelve months.

Rock News Artist Of The Year - TOP 10

#03 - KISS
#04 - RUSH
#09 – SLASH
#10 – QUEEN

Rock News Artist of The Year - #2 – GUNS N' ROSES

The buzz on Guns N’ Roses in 2012 began with news late in 2011 that the band had been confirmed as new inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

The subject of the upcoming April induction ceremony would dominate much of the first quarter of the year as fans hoped for some sign of a reunion of the group’s original lineup.

As for Axl Rose, he began 2012 in court: the singer spent four days serving jury duty on a civil trial in Santa Monica, California.

In February, the band launched an Up Close And Personal Tour in New York, which would see them play a series of intimate theatre shows in the city before it moved on to a few other US sites, including several dates in Los Angeles.

Various members of the original GNR lineup made headlines answering questions about the Rock Hall event, with all suggesting they had no idea how a reunion might come together even under these special circumstances.

Then, in early March, an apparent leak from an unlikely source stirred up some major news.

A tweet by Paul Shaffer, in response to a media inquiry about the ceremony, said that GNR “will not be performing” at the April 14 event. Shaffer has served as musical director and producer for the Rock Hall induction ceremony since its inception in 1986.

It was quickly revealed that the tweet did not come from Shaffer; rather, someone at Envision Radio Networks – where the musician hosts a program – replied using his Twitter account. An Envision management type came clean that one of his staff was responsible, apologizing for the “inadvertent” tweet without confirming its accuracy, creating further confusion on the issue.

Then, just days before the induction, Axl posted an open letter to the Rock Hall and GNR fans that saw him confirm that he would not be attending and, even more, decline the honor completely. Read Axl’s full statement here.

Axl’s move opened the door for several other GNR members to regroup and, on April 14, Slash, Duff McKagan, Steven Adler and Matt Sorum were joined by guitarist Gilby Clarke and singer Myles Kennedy on stage to perform at the Rock Hall event.

Meanwhile, the current GNR lineup just kept on touring. Axl made headlines in May when he injured himself in Moscow while partying at a trendy local club after one of the two dates in the city. It would go on to become the #9 hennemusic Rock News Story Of The Year (here).

Rose does pick his spots for partial reunions with original GNR members: in May, former GNR guitarist Izzy Stradlin joined his old band – or what’s left of it – on stage at the O2 Arena in London, his first appearance with a GNR lineup since 2006.

The UK tour brought a strange headline with it: the band were refusing entry to their concerts by anyone wearing a Slash shirt. Reports suggested GNR’s management took the extreme step to distance themselves from their classic version, with one concertgoer watching the show bare-chested because he was forced to remove his Slash shirt before being allowed in the building.

Axl was robbed of three gold-and-diamond necklaces worth $200,000 (£129,000) following a concert in Paris in early June. The goods were quickly returned, with the singer issuing a public note of thanks to the woman who turned them in to Paris police.

Tom Cruise covered “Paradise City” as part of the soundtrack to the Broadway play-turned film, “Rock Of Ages,” in June.

Izzy returned in July to play a private wedding concert with GNR in Saint-Tropez, France.

In August, GNR followed Motley Crue’s lead and announced their first-ever residency in Las Vegas. The band would perform a series of 12 shows in the fall billed as “Appetite For Democracy,”

There was an update on Axl’s $20 million, 2010 lawsuit against the makers of the video game Guitar Hero III. A judge threw out Rose's fraud claim but allow his breach-of-contract claim to continue, with a trial date set for February 1, 2013.

GNR unplugged for the 26th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concerts in October. Neil Young organizes the annual acoustic-based show, which raises funds for the Bridge School, a facility that develops and uses advanced technologies to aid in the instruction of children with disabilities.

Axl made a rare TV talk show appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! just days before the Halloween launch of the “Appetite For Democracy” series. The singer appeared relaxed and engaging – watch Axl’s interview here.

There was more GNR controversy once the Vegas shows began. Less than a day after city officials renamed a street in honor of the band, a local commissioner came forward to says she regretted the decision. At issue was an ad for the group’s concerts depicting what appears to be a sexually assaulted woman beneath the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. The ad, a revised version of the group’s banned cover of its first album, “Appetite for Destruction,” was eventually toned down.

The Vegas run featured another guest spot by Izzy, a live concert broadcast on satellite radio, a show being filmed in 3D for future release, and a Red Cross charity drive to support the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

GNR ended 2012 with a series of dates in India and Japan.

Guns Guns N' Roses