DUFF MCKAGAN Defends GUNS N' ROSES' Three-And-A-Half-Hour Live Performances: 'What Songs Do You Take Out?'

December 16, 2023

In a new interview with Heavy Music, Duff McKagan was asked about GUNS N' ROSES' insistence on playing marathon sets that usually last at least a full hour longer than those of most other bands. The GN'R bassist said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Axl [Rose, GUNS N' ROSES singer], man, Axl loves… I think it's… Goddamn it's, like, what songs do you take out, if you wanted to play shorter? Don't get me wrong — my body would love it if we only played two and a half hours. Most bands play two hours, two hours and 10 minutes or something, and we're playing three [hours and] 30 [minutes]. I'd love to play shorter because I'd be in less pain the next day. But there's just too many songs, and people stay for the whole thing. Nobody leaves, so it's, like, okay, they must be enjoying this. We'll whip out 'Coma' or 'Locomotive'. We're whipping out other songs. I really love playing them. 'Bad Obsession', 'Pretty Tied Up'. So great. We'll play it all. 'Reckless [Life]'and'Shadow [Of Your Love]'. And I'm looking at Axl, and I'm, like, 'Yeah, you sure, man? 'Cause we've gotta play again in a couple nights.' But he's a monster, man, that guy, Axl, like his longevity. We've had to cancel only one show because of vocals, because you get a swelling — no wonder — swelling on one of his sides. And he'll still wanna play the show, and the doctor will be, like, 'You could ruin your voice forever.' We canceled one [gig] in Glasgow a couple of years ago. We made it up."

Back in July 2022, GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash told Japanese music critic and radio personality Masa Ito of TVK's "Rock City" about GUNS N' ROSES' live performances: "We did a three-and-a-half-hour show — we have been on this tour. We've been playing three hours plus. Last night was three and a half hours. We played 30 songs. It's good. It's fun. We play that long because we enjoy playing. It's not because we have a mandate to play for three hours. It's just we get going and we just can't stop."

GUNS N' ROSES launched its long-rumored and long-awaited reunion tour with an April 2016 club show in Hollywood and appearances in Las Vegas and at California's Coachella festival.

GUNS N' ROSES' reunion tour features classic-lineup members Slash, McKagan and Rose backed by guitarist Richard Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrer, keyboardist Dizzy Reed and second keyboardist Melissa Reese.

Earlier this month, GUNS N' ROSES released a new single titled "The General" via Geffen Records.

"The General" is the B-side of GUNS N' ROSES' limited-edition seven-inch vinyl single titled "Perhaps", which was made available for pre-order in August.

Like "Perhaps", "The General" was written during the sessions for GUNS N' ROSES' "Chinese Democracy" album.

GUNS N' ROSES released a four-song EP, "Hard Skool", in February 2022. The effort, which was exclusive to the GUNS N' ROSES' official store, contained the two new songs the band released in 2021 — the title track and "Absurd" (stylized as "ABSUЯD") — as well as live versions of "Don't Cry" and "You're Crazy".

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