Guns N’ Roses return to Paradise City

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It just seems like yesterday that a lot of us were stuck on a dusty racetrack in Calder Park (or Eastern Creek in my case), watching a bicycle-panted Axl Rose running back on forth on a stage, a mere dot on a hazy horizon from my vantage position amongst 150,000 other punters.

Scarily, this year marks the 20th anniversary of that tour and even though a few amongst may be a little more grey around the edges some things never change. Axl may have packed away the bike shorts but Guns N’ Roses are returning to our sunny shores this March and unlike their whistlestop tour of 2010 when they played Sydney, Adelaide and Townsville (?!), they will be firmly parked in Melbourne having just announced a second show at Sydney Myer Music Bowl on the 16 March.

If you remember those parched days back in 1993 then get ready to do it all over again sans dust with the current Gunners line-up: legend front man Axl Rose, Tommy Stinson on bass, Dizzy Reed on keys, Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal on guitar, Chris Pitman on keys and bass, DJ Ashba on guitar, Richard Fortus on rhythm guitar and Frank Ferrer on drums.

DJ Ashba promises more of the same this time around sans dust. “It will be three hours of everything from ‘Appetite for Destruction’ to ‘Chinese Democracy’. It’ll be an incredible night of loud, aggressive rock and roll. We have a lot of great friends in Melbourne and always looking for more so we cannot wait to get down there,” Ashba told us on the phone from LA.

After his Dad took him to his first Motley Crue concert at age 16, DJ is now twanging the strings in one of rock’s all time legendary bands, Guns N’ Roses have spanned two generational music periods and are heading into their third. For DJ, it’s the stuff metal dreams are made of.

If you are anything like me, its been a long time coming for a resurgence into this kind of dirty pretty rock music but legends never die and Ashba agrees. “We are pumped to be playing with ZZ Top and Rose Tattoo; they were a huge inspiration to me growing up and it will be kick ass to sit and watch these guys do their thing’.

When you are part of one of the biggest rock bands of all time, how does one relax before a gig and in the downtime on tour, I mean this is Melbourne? Any chance of a sherry at Movida or a spot of tattooing from our very own world renowned ink masters whilst in town? “Before any show we get together in the green room and loosen up with Jaegar bombs and Monster energy drinks, it loosens up the wrists and elbows. We’ve all been known to stumble into tattoo studios late at night to add to the collection, but with your tattoo shop curfew, we may have to just party all night long and get one in the morning!”

The long awaited question that every fan wants to know, and I was eager to get prise out of the band was when is the next album due? “No date has been set as yet and none of us are in a big rush to make just any old music. It will be ready when we can all sit back and say ‘the world is ready to hear this now”.

So. We just have to wait. I’m a little long in the tooth to be locked away by my mother these days, but if I can offer any advice to this next generation of young rockers parents, it would be just that. Look out, the boys are back in town!

Guns N’ Roses along with special guests ZZ Top and Rose Tattoo play Sidney Myer Music Bowl on 16 and 17 March 2013. Tickets go on sale for their second show (16 March) this Friday through Ticketmaster 136 100.

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