|(11/20/02, 4 p.m. ET) -- Guns N' Roses is in the midst of its first North American concert tour in nine years, a trek that will keep the group on the road into early January. Of course, this is not the GNR that became a multiplatinum sensation in the late '80s and early '90s--only frontman Axl Rose remains from the original lineup, while keyboardist Dizzy Reed has been with the group since 1990.
However, Reed tells LAUNCH that, from his perspective, the new GNR is still going over well with the band's fans. "I know that no matter what, there's gonna be some people that are just not gonna let go of the old band, and no matter what we do, you know, we're not gonna make them happy. Being away for so long and now finally being back out here touring, you know, I'm enjoying every second of it, and I'm trying to put the pressure aside. There's some people that we're just, we'll never make happy, but the majority of the people that I see out there are having a great time. They're losing their minds--they're dancing, they're singing along, and it doesn't seem to me like they miss the old guys."
Besides Reed, the current GNR lineup--which has been together for about seven months--includes bassist Tommy Stinson (the Replacements, Perfect, Bash-N-Pop); guitarists Buckethead (Praxis, Primus), Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails, Cirque Du Soleil), and Richard Fortus (Love Spit Love); keyboardist Chris Pitman (the Replicants, Lusk) and drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia (Primus, Praxis, Tom Waits). The group plans to release its new album, Chinese Democracy, in 2003.
GNR next performs Thursday (November 21) at the Palace Of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
-- Gary Graff, Detroit