Was Axl Rose Late to a Guns N’ Roses Gig Because of Ninja Turtles?
That's the story according to Alternative Nation, and though this information arrives as second-hand news — the article traces it back to "a member of the community" who heard the story from "a DJ of a Tampa Bay radio station" — Rose's eccentric legend has grown to the point that anything seems possible, and also it's fun to imagine the GNR frontman being overcome by Turtle power, so we're adding a grain of salt and passing it along.
The date in question, Dec. 28, 1991, did indeed find the band at the Suncoast Dome in Tampa, and although TMNT II was released months prior, Rose had been pretty busy slaving over GNR's heavily anticipated Use Your Illusion albums, so it's possible he simply hadn't had time to catch up on the adventures of the heroes in a half shell. Either way, the manager of the venue allegedly pressed band management to figure out why the show wasn't starting on time, and is said to have received a surprising response.
"Axl’s management said he was watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze," says AN's source. "Axl’s attention was 100 percent on the movie and he couldn’t be bothered."
In the past, Rose has chalked up his infamous tardiness to the usual boring pre-show prep, and although those problems have persisted (and even helped make a few bookies some extra money) in recent years, he does seem to be doing a better job of keeping an eye on the clock these days.
Given Rose's reluctance to speak to the press, we'll probably never get the real story here. In the meantime, we'd like to imagine that Rose just wanted to watch Vanilla Ice perform his "Ninja Rap" in the movie — as Ice himself put it last year, "It’s a Ninja Turtles generation run in the nation. ... The impact was huge all around the world, not just in the U.S. When I go to Russia, China and Europe, I see fans dressed up as Ninja Turtles everywhere. It’s amazing to see the song have such a gigantic impact."
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