I was just 13 years old when I went to see Guns N’ Roses perform at the First Union Center (now the Wells Fargo Center) in Philadelphia on December 6, 2002. Little did I, my friends, and our dads (who we dragged to the show) know that Axl Rose would end up pulling a no-show that night. While we were able to escape unharmed, a large riot broke out even before the concert was officially canceled. And to this day, I can still vividly remember the sight of seeing a jock seated in the box club seats fighting with a long haired metal fan seated in the lower section.
And after ten years later, the question as to why Guns N’ Roses never took the stage that night remained unanswered. However, during GN’R’s show at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia (a late addition to their Up Close & Personal trek) last night, Rose for the first time publicly addressed the infamous 2002 no show. You can watch Rose’s rant prior to performing “You Could Be Mine” above, but here’s what he had to say:
“I already got sued for about, everything I own . . . fuckin’ corporate radio and shit. Now we’re back on tour . . . I did cancel the first show, at about six in the morning. My manager told me he canceled it and then didn’t. And then Clear Channel wanted us to fuck up, because they wanted to end the tour. ‘Cause they had some shit going on in Florida or something… I don’t know… a whole bunch of bullshit. But I got really sick; it had nothing to do with fur coats and basketball games, you know. I love Philly. I came to play here a few times and I really liked it. So I said, ‘OK we’re gonna risk it, what if we can throw in a show in Philly?’ So it’s good to be here. I want to apologize for my part of that. You know, so… I’m not saying I’m innocent.”
While he does blame a lot of others besides himself (somewhat typical) for the Philly no show, at least Rose admits that he’s not “innocent.” Now we’ll just have to wait and see if he pulls a no show in Cleveland.