“Before this weekend’s Reading and Leeds Festivals, the event’s head honcho Melvin Benn made some big noise about hitting the legal curfew by making sure headliners Guns N’ Roses would actually show up to sets on time — despite a long, proud, riot-filled tradition of that never ever happening. “The stories of Axl Rose turning up onstage late are the thing of legend,” said Benn, “but I’m led to believe [Axl's] got a new manager and I’ve been given wonderful assurances it won’t be an issue this time.” So did Gun N’ Roses actually show up to Reading and Leeds sets on time?
Of course not! Friday at Reading the band went on an hour late, and Benn — either motivated by vengeance, a potential fine, or a theoretical life-long dedication to rules in general — cut them off at curfew time. So what happened? GNR refused to leave, pushing forth into “Paradise City” with only some acoustic guitars and a megaphone. Wow!
Axl then threatened that the band wouldn’t play Leeds, but they did — and again went on late, and again were cut off. Tweeting this morning, Axl writes “So u know, we allegedly had a deal in place pre show w/the city at least at Leeds to do a bit longer performance that was either miscommunication, someone wasn’t informed, changed their mind, didn’t care or was a con… We hope the fans feel they got at least what they could from us under the circumstances as 4 us all things considered that’s the main thing” (Benn denies any deal being in place). Why is the world so against Axl giving his fans what they want? Sure, if the set had just started, GNR would have finished — but this is a g*ddamned rock-n’-roll band! They don’t start their shows on time!“