|It's been a long time coming, but the new Guns N' Roses is ready to rage in front of a live audience.
Roberto Medina, head of the Rock in Rio festival, told Brazil's Globo television network on Wednesday (October 25) that reclusive GN'R frontman Axl Rose has agreed to play the massive South America event Rock in Rio 3 in January with his new lineup.
A source close to the production confirmed the band's appearance is written in stone -- or at least as close as possible, given the no-show nature of the mercurial Rose.
Backing up Rose, the only remaining original GN'R member, are the previously announced new members -- bassist Tommy Stinson, guitarist Paul Tobias (formerly known as Paul Huge), keyboardist Dizzy Reed and guitarist Buckethead, as well as the band's latest addition, former Primus drummer Brain, who has replaced Josh Freese, the source said.
The source added that guitarist Robin Finck, who previously left the group to rejoin Nine Inch Nails, is also on board for the show.
Guns N' Roses' record label, Interscope, could neither confirm nor deny the news, and the label was unable to contact the band's management for comment.
The band is scheduled to perform the closing set on January 14, the third day of the festival, which runs for seven days in two segments from January 12 to 21. Roughly 100 acts are expected to play the event, including Beck, R.E.M., Red Hot Chili Peppers, Silverchair, Iron Maiden, 'NSYNC, Britney Spears and Foo Fighters.
GN'R has yet to turn up on the list of confirmed acts for Rock in Rio 3 that has been posted by organizers on the event's official Web site (at www.rockinrio.americaonline.com.br). However, the Rock in Rio camp did take to the site this week to announce that the Dave Matthews Band and Five have been added to the festival lineup.
GN'R has been working on what appears to be a never-ending project, "Chinese Democracy," for the past five years, most recently with producer Roy Thomas Baker. The current status of the album is not known.
Rose performed live for the first time in seven years when he sat in with former bandmate Gilby Clarke at an L.A.-area club in June.
- Sorelle Saidman