Three of rock music’s biggest bands almost shared the same touring bill in the early ’90s. Almost. That is until one of those groups, Pearl Jam, weighed in and quashed the idea — and without any hesitation.
In a recent interview with GNR Central (via Alternative Nation), former Guns N’ Roses manager Doug Goldstein revealed that Pearl Jam turned down a tour featuring Guns N’ Roses and U2. The year was 1993 and all three bands were already respected names in the industry. Pearl Jam had just released their breakthrough debut, Ten; GNR had Use Your Illusion I and II under their belts; and U2’s Achtung Baby was basking the glow of Achtung Baby with Zooropa on the way. GNR’s Axl Rose initially came up with the plan for such a tour and asked Goldstein to make it happen.
“What happened was Axl [Rose] came to me, Pearl Jam had just broke, they had released Ten and it was on fire, I was [somewhere] in Tel Aviv, Israel, we were playing there,” said Goldstein. “Axl had come to me in the morning and said, ‘I don’t care if we open, I don’t care if we don’t get paid, I want to do a show or a couple of shows with us, Pearl Jam, and U2 closing. Can you please call everybody?’ I said, ‘Sure.’”
U2 manager Paul McGuinness agreed to do the tour, according to Goldstein. All they needed was the go-ahead from Pearl Jam and their people. Goldstein’s business call to pitch the tour was anything but smooth and successful, however. In fact, Pearl Jam’s manager Kelly Curtis rejected the offer point-blank and the exchange even got a little testy:
I said, ‘Kelly, can you please pick up?’
‘Kelly, I need to talk to you, it’s kind of important.’
‘Yeah I don’t care, what do you want?’
‘Kelly, I can’t hear, I’m in a closet.’
‘I don’t care, what do you want Doug?’
So I told him, he goes: ‘Eh, no. We’re going to pass.’
I said, ‘Okay hang on a second, I manage Guns, and when an idea comes to me, I usually talk to the band.’ I go, ‘Are you speaking on behalf of the band?’
He goes, ‘Yeah, we’re going to pass?’
I go, ‘Don’t you have a moral ethical responsibility to at least discuss it with the band?’
‘Don’t fucking tell me my fucking job.’
‘Okay, nice talking to you, you have a great life!’
Ouch. I guess some dream tours are simply meant to be just that… a dream.
Listen to the full interview below.