Where is Hunter S. When You Need Him?

The Times this weekend had a fascinating story about the eleven years and thirteen million dollars that have been thrown at making another Guns N’ Roses album, so far to no avail. The article itself is unfortunately somewhat dry, but some of the events it recounts are priceless. Consider:

But Mr. Rose’s renewed energies were not being directed toward the finish line. He had the crew send him CD’s almost daily, sometimes with 16 or more takes of a musician performing his part of a single song. He accompanied Buckethead on a jaunt to Disneyland when the guitarist was drifting toward quitting, several people involved recalled; then Buckethead announced he would be more comfortable working inside a chicken coop, so one was built for him in the studio, from wood planks and chicken wire.


Round two never came. The band went on a successful tour, but in the hours after their triumphant Madison Square Garden appearance, Mr. Rose was reportedly refused entry to the Manhattan nightclub Spa because he was wearing fur, which the club does not allow. That killed the mood. He didn’t show up for the band’s next performance, and the promoter canceled the rest of the tour.

The whole thing has an Apocalypse Now quality. Innocent young producers and record execs keep on going upriver, into the recording studio where W. Axl Rose has barricaded himself behind a wall of 60 guitars only to be overwhelmed by the boredom and the madness. Of course, none of them is deterred by the sight of the severed heads of their predecessors, and of course, they all come bearing the latest checks from the record company to keep on paying the $244,000 monthly price tag. In the hands of a better journalist, this story could have been dynamite.