GUNS N' ROSES have greatly reduced their chances of landing another arena tour following frontman Axl Rose's mysterious failure to show up for a concert in Philadelphia last Friday, according to Gary Bongiovanni, editor of concert-industry trade mag Pollstar. "Rose has damaged his career," he told Entertainment Weekly. "This makes the band a riskier situation for promoters in the future."
The tour, which ended up getting scrapped following the Philadelphia no-show, was not performing as well as expected even before the cancellation. Reviews were mixed, and with a few exceptions — like the band's sold-out show last week at Madison Square Garden in New York — ticket sales were lousy. On the first 10 cities of the tour, GUNS sold an average of 7,344 seats per show in arenas that hold around 18,000 people, according to figures compiled by Pollstar. Those dire results show that ''the 2002 GUNS N' ROSES is not an arena act,'' Bongiovanni said.
Whatever really happened to cause the cancellation, Rose and the tour's promoter, Clear Channel, could end up locked in a costly legal battle. The five-day delay in announcing the tour's cancellation (individual dates were nixed along the way) may have signaled a reluctance from both the band and the promoter to take responsibility for pulling the plug, according to Bongiovanni, who says that whoever made that decision could end up owing the other side money. ''I think lawyers are talking to lawyers,'' he says. One thing is clear: The promoter incurred financial losses from Rose's two no-shows.