Axl Rose Announces a Delay for Chinese Democracy (gasp!)

So, it looks like Chinese Democracy is going to be delayed. Again. Not a big surprise, since Axl’s been working on it SINCE 1991! Now it’s allegedly going to come out March 6, 2007. I’ll believe it when I see it. Axl announced this in an open letter to fans in which apologizes to fans for the delays. I forgive you Axl. Probably won’t buy the album, but I forgive you.

For giggles, check out Chuck Klosterman’s fake review of Chinese Democracy here. And for more information on the album’s saga, checkout the Wikipedia entry.

Full text of the letter after the jump…
An open letter to our fans:

Guns N’ Roses regrets to announce that the following concert tour dates have been canceled:

January 10: Sacramento
January 11: Bakersfield
January 13: Reno
January 16: San Diego

Because of the scheduling of these particular shows, valuable time needed by the band and record company for the proper setup and release of the album Chinese Democracy would have been lost. Rather than delay the album yet again, all involved have decided to remove these shows from GN’R's schedule. We hope our fans understand and we apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused. Tickets may be refunded at point of purchase.

To say the making of this album has been an unbearably long and incomprehensible journey would be an understatement. Overcoming the endless and seemingly insane amount of obstacles faced by all involved, notwithstanding the emotional challenges endured by everyone– the fans, the band, our road crew and business team– has at many times seemed like a bad dream in which one wakes up only to find that they are still in the nightmare. Unfortunately, this time it has been played out for over a decade in real life.

The true, ongoing, behind-the-scenes triumphs and casualties are much more complicated than any negative speculation that the media or otherwise has managed to hit upon. For much of the time, various legal issues have arisen, demanding that the best way to deal with these things publicly, quite frankly, was to keep our mouths shut in an attempt to ensure the best outcome– especially one that wouldn’t jeopardize the band or the album. It’s easy for people to point out how others have handled similar situations or how they would have dealt with these issues themselves if they encountered them in their own lives. But again, without full knowledge of the various dynamics and circumstances involved, these types of comments or commentary are just uninformed, disassociated, generally useless– and often hindering– speculation.

When I agreed to do our recent North American tour, I did it with the understanding that my manager, Merck Mercuriadis, and I were in full agreement regarding our strategy and touring plans and, most important, that any and all things needed to release the album by Dec. 26 at the latest were in place. Unfortunately, it turned out that this was not the case, and I regret to say that the album will not be released by the end of the year. Although many things went extremely well and were very exciting, there were, in our opinion, unnecessary and avoidable complications on our tour having to do with the tour routing, scheduling and album and video plans that wreaked havoc on all involved. This was compounded by an overall sense of a lack of respect by management for the band and crew and each individual’s particular expertise that has resulted, unfortunately, in the end of both Guns’ and my managerial involvement with Merck Mercuriadis.

In regard to a release date for the album itself, certain minor– and I do mean minor– additions, as well as contract negotiations, need to be completed. Barring any unforeseen complications, these things have now been adequately scheduled. The band and I, along with our record company, feel that this record deserves the proper setup and promotion, not the ’13 Tuesdays left’ and ‘It may just appear in your record store’ approach offered by management. We believe this strategy may have been used as a tool by management to sell this latest tour to the various promoters, and if this was the case, this was obviously unfair to them. The stress of dealing with this situation has been considerable for everyone, including the band, but more important, in our opinion, it was something utterly insane to do to our fans. You have our apologies, and please know we have been laboring over this with management for the entire North American tour.

It takes approximately eight weeks for an album to hit the shelves once it has been turned in to the record company. For whatever reasons, it appears that it may have been mistakenly inferred by management that this time period could be condensed to three weeks. With that being said, this is not a promise, a lie or a guarantee, but we do wish to announce a tentative release date of March 6. This is the first time we have done this publicly for this album. Others have made up all the other dates for their own reasons. We would like to assure the fans that everything in our power will be done to meet this date. Once it is finalized and official, you will be notified. If we are delayed for unseen reasons, you also will be notified as soon as possible in regard to a new date, and the album will be released as shortly thereafter as is possible. We thank you for your patience.

In the end, it’s just an album, but it’s one that I, the band, our record company and all involved believe and feel is a true Guns N’ Roses album. Ultimately the public will decide, and regardless of the outcome, our hearts, lives and our passion has been put into this project every step of the way. If for no other reason, we feel those elements alone merit your consideration. We do hope you can hold on just a bit longer, and if not, please take a break and we’ll be more than glad– if you so choose– to see you again later.

Once again, we offer our sincere apologies and our deepest thanks. Guns N’ Roses also would like to thank all the fans who attended the 70 concerts in 21 countries for their support in 2006. All the best to each and every one of you over this holiday season, thank you and God bless.

Sincerely,

Axl Rose