|This might be weird if it didn't involve Guns N' Roses.
Since it does, however, it shouldn't be at all shocking that New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza is responsible for playing a new Guns N' Roses song on the radio.
Piazza appeared on New York classic rock station Q104.3's Friday night show, "Friday Night Rocks... with Eddie Trunk," with a CD marked "Guns N' Roses, 'I.R.S.', " which he said he received in the mail three weeks ago. He persuaded Trunk to play the song at 12:15 a.m. Saturday morning.
Almost immediately the station was flooded with calls. One listener described it as combining rock and techno — Axl Rose's distinctive voice on top of Buckethead's unorthodox guitar work. One of the calls, however, was from GNR's management.
"We've gotten hundreds, dare I say, thousands, of emails since, urging us to play it again," said Q104.3's program director Bob Buchmann. "But we can't because the management flipped when they heard it on the air."
Because Trunk deals with the same management company often and has a professional relationship with them, a simple phone call took the place of any legal cease-and-desist letter. There still was the matter of having a new GNR song in circulation, though.
So adamant was the GNR camp to retrieve the disc, they arranged to meet with Trunk, to whom Piazza had given the CD, as soon as possible. And that just happened to be at Shea Stadium on Sunday, while the Mets were hosting a game with the Atlanta Braves. "I.R.S." joins "Madagascar," which Guns N' Roses' premiered at the 2002 Video Music Awards, as the only new material which may appear on the long overdue new LP, Chinese Democracy.
The strange story begs two questions: Was this really a new Guns N' Roses song? And if so, why would Mike Piazza be among the first to give it a spin?
A spokesperson for GNR's label, Interscope Records, had no comment, but given the fact that management "flipped," they wouldn't have had a reason to were it a tune by Paradise City, Mr. Brownstone, Bent Axle, or any number of the GNR tribute bands. Plus, Buchmann swears Piazza told him it was GNR's new song.
Neither Piazza or Trunk were available for comment, but Buchmann said both are convinced the song was the real thing.
As for Piazza being comeback rock's new litmus test, Buchmann said it happens more often than not.
"Mike is a huge music fan," Buchmann said. "The truth is, Mike is so passionate about certain music that I would argue that he's on the top-10 list of real music fans that a band might circulate their unreleased stuff to. Piazza's a riot. He's as passionate as they come."
The lucky catcher has probably been listening to those new Duran Duran joints for months now, too.