The UK-based Reading and Leeds is one of the premier music festivals in all the world. A great performance at this end-of-August musical extravaganza will shoot you to the top of everyone’s playlist. Of course, if you’re Guns N’ Roses, you could just avoid all that hard work and instead declare “war” on the festival.
First, some background: The Axl Rose-led outfit likes to show up late; the Reading and Leeds Festival has a strict curfew. When the band played back in 2002, they didn’t adhere to said curfew and came on nearly three hours late. So, in the weeks leading up to the band’s 2010 headlining performance, festival promoter Melvin Benn was adamant that Axl start on time. Guess who won?
As Faster Louder reports, GNR showed up an hour late to their Friday night performance at the Reading portion of the festival. They then made time for five different Axl Rose costume changes before trying to play past their curfew. In response to such outlandish/standard rock star behavior, the power was cut mid-performance. And so began the onslaught. On Twitter.
Guitarist DJ Ashba was particularly vocal, stating that the “promoter was already being a cocky f$#k in the press before we arrived, so yes we went on a little late, and for this we apologies.” And like the saints they are, they played late as fans had “payed to see a show, and thats why we showed up, too give them just that.” Hard to do with electricity we’d reckon.
Guitarist Richard Fortus agreed with the sentiment, writing that “Axl insists on doing things his way and not playing by the fucking rules. You can love him or hate him for it, but the fact of the matter is . hes the real fucking deal. skin, blood and soul. Deal with it or not, but it wont ever change. Oh, we can deal with that.
As for something probably more resembling the truth, Benn told NME that he only cut the power to comply with the festival’s license and has no idea why the band hit the stage so late. As to allegations he’s been holding a grudge against the band, Benn responded, Why would I have a grudge against the band? Theyre one of the greatest bands in the world and theyre playing one of the greatest festivals in the world. Bulletproof logic.
As for what happened when GNR took the stage for their Leeds Festival performance on Sunday? They arrived only 35 minutes late, with Axl quoted as saying, “We come here to play for you but the cops and the promoters wanna f*** us in the a**.”
Well, at least we had that virtual reunion to look forward to.
Guns N’ Roses Reading Set:
Welcome To The Jungle
Its So Easy
Richard Fortus Guitar Solo
Live And Let Die
This I Love
Dizzy Reed Piano Solo
Street Of Dreams
You Could Be Mine
DJ Ashba Guitar Solo
Sweet Child O Mine
Axl Rose Piano Solo
Bumblefoot Guitar Solo
Knockin On Heavens Door