Guns N' Roses will no longer be headlining the Rock In Rio festival in Lisbon on May 30th. According to Billboard, Axl Rose claims that guitarist Buckethead and his recent departure from the band's line up are to blame for the cancelation. "The band has been put in an untenable position by guitarist Buckethead and his untimely departure," Rose says. "During his tenure with the band Buckethead has been inconsistent and erratic in both his behavior and commitment -- despite being under contract -- creating uncertainty and confusion and making it virtually impossible to move forward with recording, rehearsals and live plans with confidence."
Rose suspects that it may be Buckethead's desire to further his solo career, which was established in 1992 with his self-titled release on Avant, that caused this untimely departure. Buckethead, who for all those that may not know gets his name because he is never seen in public without a KFC bucket on his head, will be kicking off a solo tour in Milwaukee tomorrow (March 31) in support of the jam band Particle.
"It appears his plans were to secure a recording contract with Sanctuary Records which I encouraged my management to make available to him, quit GNR and to use his involvement in the upcoming Guns release to immediately promote his individual efforts," Rose says.
Rose also added, "There is not a member of this camp that is not hurt, upset and ultimately disappointed. We as a whole definitely feel that we afforded Bucket every accommodation perhaps so much so that it may be that we, or more precisely, I may have done Guns a disservice and unintentionally allowed Guns to be put in this position."
Rock In Rio was supposed to be Guns N' Roses first tour since their 2002 comeback tour that was cut short when they canceled the last 13 dates. "On behalf of Guns N' Roses and myself I apologize to the fans," Rose says. "The festival and its tradition mean a lot to me personally and I sincerely do not enjoy being robbed by one of our own of the opportunity to be the first artist to play it for the third time."
"In the meantime rather than dwelling on the negative, Guns will be moving forward," Rose says, "and surprisingly (without giving away any details) this unfortunate set of circumstances may have given us the opportunity to take our recording that one extra step further. Regardless we hope to announce a release date [for the long awaited Geffen album, Chinese Democracy] within the next few months."