Axl Rose Wanted a ’90s Guns N’ Roses Tour With U2 and Pearl Jam
Guns N' Roses' tour with Metallica was the hard rock live event of the early '90s, but it might have been followed up with an even bigger concert collaboration between GNR and not one, but two of the most popular acts of the era.
This previously untold chapter of Guns N' Roses history comes courtesy of former manager Doug Goldstein, whose recent interview with Guns N' Roses Central — which you can hear below — included his recollection of a fateful near miss after attempting to put together a series of shows with GNR, U2, and Pearl Jam.
According to Goldstein, the whole thing was Axl Rose's idea — and he didn't even care about money or billing.
"Axl came to me, Pearl Jam had just broke, they had released Ten and it was on fire," said Goldstein. "I was in Tel Aviv, Israel, we were playing there. Axl had come to me in the morning and said, ‘I don’t care if we open, I don’t care if we don’t get paid, I want to do a show or a couple of shows with us, Pearl Jam, and U2 closing. Can you please call everybody?’ I said, ‘Sure.’"
After getting quick approval from U2's camp, Goldstein reached out to Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis — at which point he remembers the whole thing coming to a screeching halt. Standing in "a hut" in Tel Aviv and unsuccessfully trying to get Curtis to take him off speakerphone, Goldstein was met with what he felt was utter indifference, to the point that Curtis was evidently unwilling to even discuss the proposal with the members of Pearl Jam.
"He goes, ‘Eh, no. We’re going to pass,'" said Goldstein. "I said, ‘Okay, hang on a second, I manage Guns, and when an idea comes to me, I usually talk to the band. Are you speaking on behalf of the band?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, we’re going to pass.’ I go, ‘Don’t you have a moral ethical responsibility to at least discuss it with the band?’"
Curtis' alleged response — "Don’t fucking tell me my fucking job" — effectively put an end to the conversation. After telling Curtis to "have a great life," Goldstein tabled the idea of a series of Guns N' Roses/U2/Pearl Jam shows — right at the moment when, as he put it, "there couldn’t have been a venue big enough to hold all three of those bands."