Eager to become the talk of every music fans' Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, Axl Rose has just issued his most insane lawsuit yet, suing "Guitar Hero" makers Activision for $20 million for featuring Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" in "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock." Axl initially signed off on "Jungle" being used in the game, but on one condition: Do not put any music by Velvet Revolver, which boasts guitarist Slash (Rose's former bandmate and mortal enemy) in the game. Well, not only did "Guitar Hero III" offer a bunch of Velvet Revolver songs, they crowned Slash the game's spokesperson, featured him on the game's cover and made him a playable avatar. Cue Axl's lawsuit.
"[Activision] began spinning a web of lies and deception to conceal its true intentions to not only feature Slash and VR prominently in GH III but also promote the game by emphasizing and reinforcing an association between Slash and Guns N' Roses and the band's song 'Welcome to the Jungle,' " Rose's lawyer Skip Miller writes in the $20 million suit. Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" featured in "Guitar Hero II," and "Shackler's Revenge" from Axl's long-awaited "Chinese Democracy" actually debuted as a game-ending challenge in "Rock Band 2," so Rose isn't opposed to the use of his songs in music video games. This comes down to, once again, Rose's undying hatred of Slash.
"There's zero possibility of me having anything to do with Slash other than by ambush, and that wouldn't be pretty," Rose said in 2009. "In a nutshell, personally I consider him a cancer and better removed, avoided." Rose also sued his former manager Irving Azoff, the CEO of Live Nation Ticketmaster, accusing Azoff of conspiring to assemble a Guns N' Roses reunion tour that included Slash. That legal tiff is likely the reason why Axl's GNR hasn't toured the U.S. on its "Chinese Democracy" trek (although a February tour is rumored).
Why would Axl's lawsuit arrive three years after the release of "Guitar Hero III"? The Amp likes to imagine that during a brief hiatus in the GN'R tour, Rose headed to his local Best Buy to get a jump on some Black Friday shopping. While pushing his cart down the discount video game aisle, he saw the box for "Guitar Hero III" with Slash on the cover and got perturbed. After purchasing the game along with the new deluxe "Avatar" DVD and Nicki Minaj's "Pink Friday," Axl drove back to his home in the Hollywood Hills to see if GNR's music was in fact in the game, only to discover that he bought an XBox 360 copy of "GH3" and he only owned a Playstation 3. Down but not defeated, Rose then realized that he could simply go on Wikipedia to see the game's track list. And then he called his lawyer.
[Photo: Albert L. Ortega/WireImage.com]
- Axl Rose