Michigan’s city of Flint is still in the depths of a water crisis that has contaminated thousands of people’s water supply, prompting support from celebrities across the board. A new charity auction for Flint will take place at a headline show for Mule Kick, a band that features Guns N’ Roses drummer Frank Ferrer. Among the auction items is a drum head signed by GNR members, and those names could finally confirm the full lineup of the upcoming ‘classic lineup’ reunion shows. After examining other autographs by the group, we may have the key to who’s likely to be involved – so let’s meet the players, shall we?
BOTTOM RIGHT SIGNATURE – AXL ROSE
YEARS ACTIVE: 1985-present
WHO IS HE? The band’s lead vocalist, who also plays keys and percussion and founded the band in 1985 with Tracii Guns, Ole Beich, Rob Gardner and Izzy Stradlin, the former three of whom left pretty swiftly.
WHAT’S HE’S BEEN UP TO? As the only founding member of the band left standing, he’s basically just been doing that, although it’s been almost eight years since his last record with GNR, ‘Chinese Democracy’.
REUNION CHAT: In 2009 Axl said of his feud with Slash, “One of the two of us will die before a reunion and however sad, ugly or unfortunate anyone views it, it is how it is.” It is how it is, guys.
MIDDLE RIGHT SIGNATURE – DUFF MCKAGAN
YEARS ACTIVE: 1985-1997; 2010
WHO IS HE? Bassist who replaced Ole Beich after his swift departure.
WHAT’S HE’S BEEN UP TO? Reunited his old band 10 Minute Warning; joined and left Jane’s Addiction; released a solo album; started his own financial advice company; played a few gigs with Guns N’ Roses again in 2010.
REUNION CHAT: Not a lot, but there’s the below tweet, which appeared the day before the official announcement of his and Slash’s involvement with their Coachella shows.
TOP RIGHT SIGNATURE – RICHARD FORTUS
YEARS ACTIVE: 2002-present
WHO IS HE? Rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist who filled the boots of forebears Paul Tobias, Gilby Clarke and Izzy Stradlin.
WHAT’S HE’S BEEN UP TO? He’s played with lots of bands outside GNR – a brief stint with Thin Lizzy in 2011, a tour with Danish band The Storm in 2008, and guitar duties with The Dead Daisies since 2013.
REUNION CHAT:“2016 is going to be a big year for the band… We’re just waiting for the right offer and the right scenario. He [Axl] is very particular about doing things the right way.”
TOP LEFT SIGNATURE – SLASH
YEARS ACTIVE: 1985-1996; 2016
WHO IS HE? Lead guitarist who replaced founding member Tracii Guns and entered a bitter feud with Axl in 1996, which no one ever thought would be resolved. Now it has.
WHAT’S HE’S BEEN UP TO? A lover of supergroups, he started playing with Slash’s Snakepit again from 1998-2002 (having formed it as a side-project in 1993 while still in the band). He later formed Velvet Revolver, which held up from 2002-2008, before releasing a string of solo albums, starting with 2010’s ‘Slash’, which featured former GN’R Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler.
REUNION CHAT: Like Duff McKagan, he posted the below image the day before his return was confirmed, the tease:
MIDDLE LEFT SIGNATURE – DIZZY REED
YEARS ACTIVE: 1990-present
WHO IS HE? Keyboardist who entered as the band’s keyboardist in 1990 and never left.
WHAT’S HE’S BEEN UP TO? As the longest-standing member of the band other than Rose, he’s been loyal to the cause. But he’s also played with Richard Fortus in The Dead Daisies and appeared on albums by Motörhead and ex-GNR man Gilby Clarke.
REUNION CHAT: He’s not really talked about the reunion, but in September 2015 he said, “Whatever. Whatever happens, happens.” A longer while ago he said of new music possibilities, “There’s a lot of material that’s already done and I think it’s in the process of being finished and eventually we’ll pick out which songs need to come out with which other songs. So that’s in the works. Hopefully it will be out really soon.”
BOTTOM LEFT SIGNATURE – FRANK FERRER
YEARS ACTIVE: 2006-present
WHO IS HE? Apart from Ron Thal and DJ Ashba, he’s one of the newest recruits. He’s the latest in a long line of drummers that traces back to Steven Adler and Rob Gardner.
WHAT’S HE’S BEEN UP TO? Aside from just being in the band, Ferrer has been working with Mule Kick (the band that’s playing the auction gig) and worked with The Dead Daisies in 2013 and 2014.
REUNION CHAT: In July 2015, he revealed, “Guns definitely has a lot of moving parts, and there’s a lot of things in the works… everything is moving forward.” His involvement with the reunion was confirmed on the same day as Slash and Duff McKagan in January.
NOTABLY ABSENCT SIGNATURE #1 – IZZY STRADLIN
YEARS ACTIVE: 1985-1991
WHO IS HE? Founding member, rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist who left the band three albums in, soon after the departure of early drummer Steven Adler.
WHAT’S HE BEEN UP TO? He’s played with GNR a few times since leaving, as well as his role in Velvet Revolver, performing with his own band the Ju Ju Hounds, and an independent solo career. He last played with GNR in 2012.
REUNION CHAT: “At this point in time, I will not be playing at any of the April 2016 GNR shows,” he told Rolling Stone. “I’ve also not been in the studio recording or writing with any of the others recently. There is so much speculation, but so very little info, [that] I thought I should reach out.
“I know there’s a lot of questions regarding my Twitter account, but it’s me. I opened the Twitter account. There was just so much speculation going on regarding my involvement and studio recording. There’s so much misinformation, so I wanted to clarify that I’m not in the studio recording with any of the Guns N’ Roses guys. At this point in time, I’m not involved in the actual shows … A lot of stuff [fans] are reading isn’t true.” See the tweets he’s talking about below:
NOTABLY ABSENT SIGNATURE #2 – CHRIS PITMAN
YEARS ACTIVE: 1998-present
WHO IS HE? The band’s second keyboardist alongside Dizzy Reed.
WHAT’S HE BEEN UP TO? Playing with GNR, among other projects like Beatrazr and The Source Of Uncertainty.
REUNION CHAT: He’s been in the band for 18 years but hasn’t signed the drum, and recently wrote in a since-deleted tweet, “Please don’t mention those who are there the last 20 fucking years … oh god no!! … (a money grab) FU” – suggesting he may not be involved with the Coachella shows. His apology is below:
So to recap, that’s…
Frontman: Axl Rose
Lead guitar: Slash
Rhythm guitar: Richard Fortus
Bass: Duff McKagan
Drums: Frank Ferrer
Keys: Dizzy Reed
Sounds good to us.