When Guns N' Roses hit the stage to headline this year's Rock In Rio festival on Oct. 2 almost two hours late, the band had some decent excuses for the delay. Their direct support, System of a Down, didn't get their "extensive stage production" offstage at the appointed time, and by the time GN'R's own gear and production was set up and ready to go, a steady downpour had rolled in, drenching the stage, the crowd and the soundboard, which was damaged by the water and had to be replaced.

Or, at least that's what an official statement from the band claims. Released a day after Rock In Rio festival organizers took Guns singer Axl Rose to task for "lack of commitment" and "[dis]respect for the public" for going on late, the statement goes on the defensive, making the above claims about production delays and soundboard-damaging rains.

If true, the explanations actually seem pretty reasonable, giving the notoriously tardy band a valid excuse for its actions: "GN'R would never seek to intentionally disrespect anyone, especially their fans."

(Well...there are definitely some fans out there who disagree with the band's statement about respect. Google 'Guns N' Roses Disrespect Fans' and see how many hits come up (for a more accurate count, subtract the dozen or so that have reprinted the above statement). Did you get about 158,000 hits? We did, too.)

All this comes just days after a post on the band's official Facebook page about their repeated issues hitting stage on time: "This is Rock N' Roll! 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."

Nice rhyming there, Axl. Probably your best since he sang "I've been walking the streets at night/ just trying to get  it right" at the end of ... wait, what was that song called?

Expect more bladder-busting delays when Guns N' Roses' fall U.S. tour kicks off Oct. 28 in Orlando, Fla.

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