Is Axl Rose Headed To Reality TV?


April 8, 2008

A major music-oriented television channel has pitched an idea for a reality series to Axl Rose, according to sources close to the project.

The show, which would appear on a cable channel that asked not to be identified, would follow the troubled rocker as his continues his decade-long effort to release the Guns N’ Roses project “Chinese Democracy.”

Rose has been laboring on tracks for the project on-and-off since mid-1994, and in both 2006 and 2007 gave several interviews promising the album would be finished “within the year.”

The sound of Chinese Democracy has often reported to be industrial rock music similar to Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, a style that Rose had long been a fan of. But the tracks that have surfaced online show a variety of sounds, with tinges of everything from Ministry to Queen to classic Guns N’ Roses.

According to sources at Geffen (Rose’s music label) a version of “Chinese Democracy” has been finished and delivered to the label. But there are still outstanding issues between the singer and the label, not the least of which is a recording cost for the project which (depending on who you believe), has reached between $11 and $15 million. Another stickler is the digital rights for the tracks, along with some proposed “bonus” tracks Geffen would like to release digitally.

This reality show project would be part of a larger effort to build buzz for an album which faces a number of promotional hurdles. Rose’s recent concert appearances have been erratic at best, and many fans of the classic Guns N’ Roses lineup are going to require some persuasion before embracing this new sound. Rose is also not an especially “journalist-friendly” preformer, making promotion for the project even more difficult.

The new (still untitled) reality show would follow Rose and his band as they prepare for release of the album. It would include behind-the-scenes rehearsal and studio footage, as well as interviews with a number of the participants. “There is a lot of footage to choose from,” said a network source. “Some of it is incredibly personal and revealing about Axl’s life.”

According to the network source, the deal for the show is “close, but not signed.” Part of the holdup seems to be the timing, as the particpants want to integrate the show into a timeline with the leadup to the album’s release, along with the announcment of a limited number of concert dates.

Efforts to get a comment from Axl or his management have so far been unsuccessful.

Courtesy of