GnR late show planned 13 hours in advance
On schedule: Rose's appearance after curfew was part of show's plan (pic Will Ireland)
Guns n’Roses road crew working at the band’s Glasgow show were told to expect a late start – THIRTEEN HOURS before Axl Rose and co hit the stage.
The news calls into question the frontman’s insistence that he doesn’t mean to keep fans waiting, and it simply happens by accident.
GnR played in the Scottish city on Friday as part of their current UK tour. The band and staff arrived on the Thursday evening, more than 24 hours ahead of showtime.
But next morning local crewmen were invited to a production meeting and told to come to work two hours later than scheduled.
One of the workers, who has supplied his name, tells Classic Rock: “They called us in at 9am and said the call-back would be at 12.30am, when it was meant to have been 10.30pm.
“Our job was to help load the band’s gear out into 10 articulated lorries. You would normally expect to go back about half an hour before the band finishes playing, so you’re ready to get to work the moment they come off.
“That means Guns n’Roses knew at 9am they weren’t going to finish playing until at least 1am – and actually they finished at 1.30.
“Crew don’t normally speak out because it’ll cost you your job. But disrespect breeds disrespect. I’m not the only one who was left fizzing-mad.”
GnR’s timekeeping is notorious. They regularly keep audiences waiting for two hours or more – and when Rose finally appears he’s been known to stop songs and threatens to walk off if the crowd don’t stop expressing their upset.
Last November Rose told Eddie Trunk he was trying to address his timekeeping because he’d realised it was affecting his road crew, saying: “The crew were very supportive of me and they weren’t getting enough sleep. Things start going wrong. People are making mistakes. You’re making mistakes, they’re making mistakes, and nobody even knows why.”
But he added: “I lived right behind my school and I couldn’t make it to the classroom. I’m running down the street with wet hair trying to tie my tie with a sandwich in one hand. It’s a lifelong thing.”
The previous month, responding to criticism after being two hours late for their Rock in Rio show, a post on GnR’s Facebook page said: “Treat yourself don’t cheat yourself thinking you’re gonna go to school or work or whatever you ‘normally’ do the next day. This is Guns n’Roses and when the time is right the stage will ignite.”
In Glasgow’s SECC on Friday night around 12,000 fans waited until 11pm for a show that was meant to start at 9pm, in a venue where the price of a drink averages £4.30. It operates an 11pm curfew policy, meaning performances are normally supposed to end at that time. By 1.30am only a skeleton bus service was operating in the city while the subway and train services had closed down for the night.
Reporting on GnR’s Newcastle show two nights earlier, the Independent said: “You can get away with almost anything in pop – that’s kind of the point – but contempt for your fans is a cardinal sin. Asked for a reason for the insanely late hour at which Guns n’Roses deign to take the stage, his PR people replied simply: ‘No statement I’m afraid.’”