Alternative Nation always has some great sensational muck raking alt rock news. The other day they shared the story of a giant rock concert that never was.
Back in 1993, Guns N’ Roses was riding red hot after the releases of Use Your Illusion I and II. According to their former manager, Doug Goldstein, Axl Rose had the idea to put together a tour with Pearl Jam and U2.
Pearl Jam’s Ten had exploded and U2 was riding Achtung Baby. The thought was to get all three bands out together. U2 was actually into it, if Pearl Jam would agree. And that’s where things fell apart.
In the GNR Central podcast, Goldstein says;
“What happened was Axl came to me, Pearl Jam had just broke, they had released Ten and it was on fire, I was in Tel Aviv, Israel, we were playing there. Axl had come to me in the morning and said, ‘I don’t care if we open, I don’t care if we don’t get paid, I want to do a show or a couple of shows with us, Pearl Jam, and U2 closing. Can you please call everybody?’ I said, ‘Sure.’
So I called Paul McGuiness from U2, he was in, ‘Absolutely Doug, that would be great. We can talk about who will headline.’ I said, ‘No, no, no. Axl already said he wants you guys to close.’ We were bigger than U2 at the time, but it wasn’t about who was going to close, and it wasn’t that Axl wanted to kick their ass, he just wanted to do this show. So I called Kelly Curtis in Seattle, who manages Pearl Jam. I’ve got a finger in my ear, because the music is going on, I’m at a closet hut in Tel Aviv, and he has me on speakerphone.
I said, ‘Kelly, can you please pick up?’
‘Kelly, I need to talk to you, it’s kind of important.’
‘Yeah I don’t care, what do you want?’
‘Kelly, I can’t hear, I’m in a closet.’
‘I don’t care, what do you want Doug?’
So I told him, he goes: ‘Eh, no. We’re going to pass.’
I said, ‘Okay hang on a second, I manage Guns, and when an idea comes to me, I usually talk to the band.’ I go, ‘Are you speaking on behalf of the band?’
He goes, ‘Yeah, we’re going to pass?’
I go, ‘Don’t you have a moral ethical responsibility to at least discuss it with the band?’
‘Don’t fucking tell me my fucking job.’
‘Okay, nice talking to you, you have a great life!’
At that point there couldn’t have been a venue big enough to hold all three of those bands.”
I dunno if it was U2 or GNR that the manager of Pearl Jam was turned of by. But the other day, Pearl Jam did cover a U2 song in Brazil. Maybe they’d be friends now?
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