Guns N’ Roses Mini-Reunions: A Video History
Ever since the original ‘Appetite for Destruction’-era lineup of Guns N’ Roses started to fall apart -- let's peg it at Steven Adler's 1990 firing -- fans the world over have been clamoring for this version of the band to get back together. Well, it just hasn’t happened, and it doesn’t appear that it ever will. That being said, various members of Guns N' Roses have joined forces onstage together throughout the years. Here’s a look at some of the more notable instances when they showed an appetite for reuniting:
The last four shows on the North American leg of GNR's 'Skin N' Bones' tour were cancelled when rhythm guitarist Gilby Clarke's broke his wrist in a motorcycle accident. Izzy Stradlin returned for the first five dates of the European leg, in an effort to keep the tour going.
Slash and Duff McKagan memorably joined forces at the Slamdance Film Festival with another ex-Gunner, drummer Matt Sorum, for an hour-long concert. The set was comprised of music from the Sorum-scored film, 'The Soundman,' and a handful of covers -- including David Bowie's 'Ziggy Stardust,' the Rolling Stones' 'Honky Tonk Woman' and Bob Dylan's 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door.'
The trio again found themselves in Park City, playing a private party following the Sundance premiere of Gina Gershon's movie, 'Prey for Rock & Roll.' Sadly, there is no video available, but reports say that Gershon and Shooter Jennings -- the son of country legend Waylon Jennings -- sat in with them on a set of mostly covers.
Gathering at the Avalon in Hollywood, four GNR members joined Camp Freddy on this night for a set that included a fun cover of the Rolling Stones' 'Jumpin' Jack Flash.' (Yes, that's actress Gina Gershon playing tambourine.) Core players in Camp Freddy include Sorum, Donovan Leitch Jr., Dave Navarro, Chris Chaney and Billy Morrison.
Slash, McKagan and Sorum formed Velvet Revolver in June 2003, with Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots on vocals and Dave Kushner on rhythm guitar. Their 2004 debut, 'Contraband,' was a double-platinum success and led to a long world tour. But by the time they'd finished the follow-up, 2007's 'Libertad,' creative and personal differences would lead to Weiland's departure.
Steven Adler’s band, Adler’s Appetite, was joined for a very special GNR-related encore during a show at the Key Club. Slash and Stradlin reunited with the drummer on stage for three songs: ‘Mr. Brownstone,’ ‘Paradise City’ and ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.’
Stradlin appeared onstage with Axl Rose for the first time in 13 years, during a show at the Hammersmith Ballroom. He stayed on for three songs, 'Think About You,' 'Patience' and 'Nightrain.' It went so well that Stradlin accompanied GNR on its 13-date tour through Europe that summer.
When Slash was booked to headline a Los Angeles Youth Nation benefit, he brought along McKagan and Adler as his rhythm section. The two had not performed together since Adler's dismissal. "It was a pleasure and an honor to play with my brother again after a 20-year absence,' McKagan later wrote.
In one of the more momentous reunions on our list, McKagan joined the current incarnation of Guns N' Roses to play with Rose for the first time in 17 years. A year later, McKagan's band Loaded opened up for GNR when they played Seattle and Vancouver.
While McKagan represents the only original member of this mini-reunion, the contributions of both Sorum and Clarke during the ‘Use Your Illusion’ era of the band warrant their inclusion. This performance, which combined music with spoken-word passages from McKagan's book, took place at the House of Blues on the weekend of the group's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
When Guns N’ Roses' Hall of Fame announcement was made, fans crossed their fingers that this would be the moment that finally pulled the group's most famous lineup back together. However, Rose declined his invitation. Nevertheless, Slash, McKagan, Adler and Sorum were on hand to perform both ‘Paradise City’ and ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine.’
At the previous month’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, there were two notable absences from the 'Appetite' era of Guns N' Roses. Apparently, Axl and Izzy decided to make up for their no-show by staging a reunion of their own at the O2 Arena in London the next month. Stradlin also sat in for a few songs later that summer, at a wedding in St. Tropez, France and a concert in Palma, Spain.
The GNR rhythm section made a triumphant return in March 2013 when McKagan and Adler sat in with each other’s bands over two nights in Tokyo.
When current Guns N' Roses bassist Tommy Stinson needed a break to work with his old band the Replacements, Axl called on a familiar figure. McKagan ended up playing five shows in South America with Guns -- his first full concerts with them since 1997 -- and later made an appearance at that year's Golden Gods Awards show and the group's much-heralded residency in Las Vegas.
As if the combined starpower of Slash and Aerosmith wasn't enough, the opening act had something special up his sleeve when their 'Let Rock Rule' tour hit Duff's hometown of Seattle. McKagan joined his twice-former bandmate onstage for 'It's So Easy.'
Yet another combination of Guns N' Roses alumni reunited early in 2015, as McKagan and former guitarist Gilby Clarke dropped in during Slash's concert in Argentina to perform "It's So Easy" (Duff only) and "Paradise City."