|We knew this was one was coming! MTV Brazil is reporting that Guns N' Roses' guitarist Buckethead has left the band.
However, since the band's label invokes a blanket "no comment" policy, and Axl Rose is apparently not speaking to his manager (and his manager's not speaking to us, anyway), there's not much more to say about that. Regardless, Axl changing band members no longer comes as much of a surprise. The odds were even money that the lineup would change before they actually got around to touring.
Axl may be "out of sight, out of mind" in the rest of the world, but all-things Guns N' Roses are daily news in Brazil. Much to the media's delight, Rose's personal assistant, Beta Lebeis, is Brazilian, and she apparently gives interviews, as does her 20-year-old son, Fernando.
The latter appears on a Brazilian Web site this week, and Rose couldn't have bought better PR. Fernando reveals that in addition to his annual Halloween parties (with the best grade tequila spewing from a fountain), Rose also throws one for the downtrodden and underprivileged children, even constructing a playground for the tykes.
On a somewhat odd note (although it may be that Portuguese-to-English translation), Beta herself told another interviewer that the band would begin a world tour in South America next year, making no mention of the currently rescheduled European dates in December.
Meanwhile, former Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler is resurfacing as a special guest on former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke's South American festival dates in August.
Adler suffered a drug-induced stroke not long after leaving the band and has rarely played in public since. Also on the bill is LA Guns, led by GNR's pre-Slash guitarist, Tracii Guns.
(Sorelle Saidman and Priscilla Eaker)