It might be wise to expect the unexpected when it comes to life as a touring rock band on the road. Hard rockers Guns N’ Roses certainly have had some practice with rolling on with the river of life.
The legendary rock band, who are currently on tour with the support of multiple famous names, are currently making headlines for scrapping Saturday night’s gig in St. Louis, are not new to making the decision to pulling the plug on show dates.
‘GNR’s career has been marked by multiple instances of gig cancellations- including an instance of announcing the gig wouldn’t be going forward at the eleventh hour- in nearly four decades together. The rockers’ first LP “Appetite For Destruction” was released in 1987.
Guns N’ Roses Will Not Be Going Through With Their St. Louis Date On September 9th
The band took to their social media to break the news on Friday night.
The announcement began, “Gunners, the concert scheduled for St. Louis on September 9 has been postponed due to illness,” without going into more detail. The post did reveal good news for ticket holders: If they are not able to make the eventual date, they can expect to be refunded.
Tonight’s scheduled show is far from the first gig Guns N’ Roses have ever played in St. Louis. Fans and pop culture fanatics may remember a particularly dangerous instance of a GNR gig ending in infamy.
Before we look back on the band’s visit to St. Louis back in 1991, we’ll take a look at Guns N’ Roses’ history of canceling gigs, and even in some cases, remaining dates of a tour!
The Band Canceled An Entire Tour In The Aughts!
September 9’s gig comes two decades after the band’s decision to bow out of the remaining shows scheduled for the tour.
A number of incidents led up to the final decision, per an Entertainment Weekly article published at the time.
On December 7th, 2o02, angry audience members already present for the show that was reportedly just about to start, memorably reacted. According to the publication, fans decided to “trash” the venue following the revelation that lead singer Axl Rose wasn’t going to show up. Due to Rose’s absence, the band decided not to play the gig.
No official explanation for Rose’s absence had been provided at the time, but he had allegedly been sick. No reason for the band’s decision to cancel the remainder of the tour was provided either.
Just a month before, the band had been scheduled to play in Vancouver, Canada, when an angry crowd would “riot” when it was revealed the gig wouldn’t be going forward “minutes before showtime,” according to a Los Angeles Times article. The show was the first stop of ‘GNR’s tour, which had been their first in nearly a decade. “Hundreds” of attendees reportedly took part in the riot, with 12 people arrested the following day.
A Summer Night Would Turn Bloody: Inside The Infamous Riot
In the Summer of 1991, the band played a show in Maryland Heights, Missouri, (which is described to be a town near St. Louis, by Billboard.)
The writer of the aforementioned Billboard retrospective was in the audience that night, and recalled the trouble allegedly erupted nearly two hours into the show: Rose could be heard arguing with a fan. The GNR frontman could reportedly be heard saying “take that” twice. He then attempted to get security to handle matters with the fan.
Rose soon dove toward the audience member reportedly before security could handle the escalating situation, according to writer Daniel Durchholtz’s account.
Rose’s target had not been the fan; it had reportedly been a camera. The camera had allegedly been possessed by a member of a motorcycle gang, which Rose had found himself in between as he was searching for the camera. The band continued to play amid the incident; footage exists on YouTube.
65 attendees were eventually hurt as a result of the incident, with 25 of them being officers, per Billboard. “Dozens” of arrests would be made.
The “Welcome To The Jungle” singer was eventually charged with four misdemeanor counts of assault and would receive a misdemeanor for property damage. The outlet also recalled “Hundreds of thousands of dollars of property damage” would follow the incident.
Rose was found guilty of these charges and fined heavily. His fine was for $50,000. Guns N’ Roses would not be able to escape the night of July 2nd, 1991, as “several civil suits” would also be filed.