So Axl’s done it again. Turning up an hour late for his Reading festival headline slot without apology, boring half of his already meagre crowd to tears with extended piano (piano!) solos and tracks off ‘Chinese Democracy’ before having a bust up with security and starting a sit-down protest on stage.
Then announcing he didn’t like the promoters and wasn’t going to play Leeds.
It wasn’t that much of a shock to most people. The guy’s not exactly the proud owner of a clean sheet when it comes to gigs.
In fact he makes Pete Doherty look like Status Quo, and his tantrums stretch back over several decades. Insufficient security, heavy-handed security, people filming the gig, water on the stage, someone throwing a pound coin at him – there’s no end to the reasons he’s stormed off stage in the past.
And he’s practically never on time. But Reading didn’t let him off lightly, showering the egomaniac with verbal abuse and chants – and letting rip when we went out for some vox pops:
Of course you could argue that we need these characters, that music’s got too dull and if Axl wants to piss off the rich residents that live across the river from the site and call the shots on closing time, fair play. Or you might think he needs to grow up and fulfill his contract like the hundreds of other performers over the weekend.
The full review of Friday’s carnival is in Tuesday’s mag, but for now, what do you think of Axl, and the Guns N’ Roses show? Is he one of the last true wildcard rock stars, playing by his own rules and using his indisputably heroic larynx to force the world to revolve around his whims, or just a ginger bell-end?
Update Sunday 29th August: The saga continues with the band slamming the festival for pulling the plug and Axl demanding an apology from the organisers
Update Monday 30th August: Festival organiser Melvin Benn responds to Axl Rose’s comments. Watch the video below: