GNR Man Kicked Out Of Listening Party
The wait is over! Guns N’ Roses’ first album of new material since 1991 – ‘the most anticipated record ever’ according to the adverts – is in the stores today. (We’re talking about Chinese Democracy, of course.)A time of celebration, for sure. But also a bittersweet experience for Tom Zutaut, the man who signed Guns N’ Roses to Geffen Records back in the day.
Zutaut was unceremoniously booted out of the Chinese Democracy listening party, held at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles last week (November 18).
Here’s what happened, in Tom’s own words:
Yeah, sadly it is true that I was escorted out of the Roxy by a beefy security guy just prior to the last three songs of the playback. I did stand on the sidewalk and hear the last three anyway.
I believe that love and hate are a complicated thing but ultimately the same thing. I love Axl and think Chinese Democracy is a genius body of music. Although I had heard most of the album in an unfinished form six-seven years ago, and more recently through some of the leaks, I really wanted to hear it played back over a loud PA in its final form as imagined by its creator, W. Axl Rose.
It is sad and disappointing to me that those around Axl would lie to him to fuel his hatred towards me with imaginary events used to drive a wedge between us. I love him deeply, will always love him and wish only the greatest success to one of the world’s last true creative musical sparks with a god-given voice. I am proud of my contributions to his career and am always there for him should he one day become enlightened to the truth of what surrounds him.
It is also sad that he doesn’t mention the hard work I put in on my short involvement with Chinese Democracy with even a ‘Thank You’ considering lesser players are credited or thanked in the liner notes – even those who ridiculed him, belittled and made fun of him behind his back while I defended his genius ’til those around him poisoned him against me with distortions and lies.
I wear his hatred as a badge of honor as it would be far worse for him not to care at all.
– Tom Zutaut
Meanwhile, reviews of Chinese Democracy are varying wildly. The album has been both trashed and praised by critics.
‘Aimless riffing and caterwauling in desperate need of a groove’ is one of several choice comments on the Music Radar website here.
Billboard is a whole lot more positive, raving that Chinese Democracy is ‘front-loaded with huge-sounding, heavily produced rockers coated in a modern sheen’.
The Jam! showbiz website is equally enthusiastic: ‘Nearly every one of these 14 cuts is a massive epic crammed with umpteen parts, endless twists and turns, and layer upon layer of overdubs.’
Meanwhile, we at the Clog tend to agree with the following ruminations at Nightwatcher’s House Of Rock: ‘Axl Rose has pulled off what many thought was impossible, and that’s putting out an enjoyable, at times harrowing, album which grows stronger with consecutive listenings.’
But the Metro newspaper has come up with perhaps the best summation: ‘The wait is over: the result is a whole lot of headbanging and head-scratching.’
Did YOU got out and buy Chinese Democracy today? If so, what’s YOUR reaction?
Elsewhere in Guns N’ Roses news, the band issued a statement this weekend regarding the previously reported Dr Pepper promotion tied to their album.
Dr Pepper promised to give everyone in America a free can of their drink if Chinese Democracy was released by the end of the year. With the album out in the US yesterday, Americans could go online and register for a free can. Some have said the fact people need to register is a con, because it means the drinks firm get a valuable database of email addresses on the back of the Guns N Roses album release.
The band issued a slightly confusing statement which distanced themselves from the drinks firm’s giveaway, but then told fans to go get their free can.
The statement read: ‘For those who heard about Dr. Pepper’s offer to give each and every American a free can of soda if Chinese Democracy is released in 2008, Guns N’ Roses wants to make sure every Guns N’ Roses fan, and every other American, gets what was promised.
‘The band is not involved in this promotion, but understood that every American (with a couple of exceptions) would get a free can of Dr Pepper. Apparently, only those who go to the soda company’s Web site on Sunday, November 23 and sign up for a free 20-ounce soda coupon will get the free can.
‘Guns N’ Roses encourages all those interested to sign up for their coupon on Sunday, collect their drink and celebrate the release of Chinese Democracy!’