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Slash and Axl look certain to reform Guns N’ Roses for Coachella

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Dave Fawbert
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It looks like one of the most bitter feuds in music is finally about to end, with the announcement that Guns N' Roses will headline the Coachella Festival, which takes place in April in the Colorado Desert.

Also headlining is another reformation - James Murphy is getting the LCD Soundsystem crew back together on Friday night - while Calvin Harris will headline the Sunday, but it's the Saturday booking which has everyone talking.

A music industry insider told us that the reformation with the original line-up is definitely happening - although, unexpectedly, bass player Duff McKagan was apparently the only member of the original five said to be wary about going ahead. Regardless, it is still expected that he, Slash, who officially quit the band 20 years ago, in 1996, Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler will complete the classic Appetite For Destruction-era line-up. Some are reporting that Matt Sorum, who played on both Use Your Illusion albums, will drum instead of Adler - this decision could depend on the current state of Adler's battle with alcoholism.

In addition, although the 'new' Guns line-up - essentially Axl Rose, Dizzy Reid and a revolving cast of other musicians (see the full 'past members of Guns N' Roses' Wikipedia page if you have an hour to kill) - have regularly headlined festivals since 2001, there would be no reason for a festival as hipster and hype conscious as Coachella to book the band unless it was going to be something special.

Axl Rose was due to appear on the Jimmy Kimmel show tonight, but has pulled out, with a source saying "Due to unforeseen circumstances, unfortunately Axl is no longer scheduled to be on Kimmel tomorrow." Meanwhile, Duff and Slash both posted images on social media of band's classic logo (which is also on the band's website), while Axl merely confirmed that 'Guns N' Roses' were headlining, rather than mentioning a classic line-up or otherwise.

A post shared by Slash (@slash) on

UK-wise, rumours doing the rounds suggest that Guns will come here in 2017 to headline the Isle of Wight and Download festivals, with Glastonbury considered unlikely as they want to stick to more traditional rock shows.

On their Use Your Illusion world tour, which ran from January 1991 to July 1993, they visited the UK three times, playing Wembley Stadium twice, the Milton Keynes national bowl twice, Manchester's Maine Road and the Gateshead International stadium - the smart money this time around would be on a run of shows at Wembley Stadium, the Etihad stadium in Manchester and Scotland's Murrayfield.

But will it all hold together? Even when they got along, there were regular problems with late running, no-shows, Axl storming off stage mid-set and the well-publicised drug and alcohol problems of the bandmembers. But if The Stone Roses can do it, maybe they can too.

But will any of the hipsters at Coachella know who the band are? If it does happen, expect a lot of selfies on Twitter.

(Image: Rex)

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Dave Fawbert

ShortList.com staff writer Dave’s primary passions are pop, prose, punning and power ballads (and alliteration). A lower division football enthusiast and long-suffering cricket fan, he is one of only 110 people followed on Twitter by Chas Hodges from Chas ‘n’ Dave. Follow Dave on Twitter like Chas: @davefawbert

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