Watch Guns N’ Roses Play ‘Street of Dreams’ for First Time in 10 Years

Guns N’ Roses played Chinese Democracy track “Street of Dreams” for the first time in 10 years during a show on Saturday, June 18.

The performance in Prague, Czech Republic, was the first time Slash and Duff McKagan have played the song alongside Axl Rose. Live footage can be seen below.

The band has played some other deep cuts during their recently launched European tour. Their first performance in eight months, a June 5 gig in Portugal, featured a cover of AC/DC’s “Walk All Over You” from 1979’s Highway to Hell; they also tackled “Reckless Life” from their 1986 EP Live ?1@ Like a Suicide for the first time in 29 years, along with Appetite for Destruction’s “You’re Crazy” for the first time in 31 years.

Earlier this year, Slash told Classic Rock that he had “no expectations” when the reunion began. “Axl and I really got over this major sort of hump of negativity that we’ve been carrying around for years and years,” he said. “It was a real simple, relatively short conversation that we had.”

He added: “In all these years that we’ve been apart, he’s become super-fucking professional. And he’s never missed a beat during this whole time. So it’s been great. There has been a sort of synergy that’s been happening this last six years that we never had in our first incarnation.”

Watch Guns N’ Roses Play ’Street of Dreams’ in Prague

All 23 Musicians Who’ve Been in Guns N’ Roses

Hope you got some time to get through this one.

Axl Rose
Vocals (1985 – Present)

W. Axl Rose has been the frontman and lead vocalist for Guns N’ Roses since its inception in 1985. He’s the only member who’s remained in the band from the moment it was formed through the present day.

Tracii Guns
Guitar (1985)

Tracii Guns was a founding member of Guns N’ Roses alongside Axl Rose, and their last names are what inspired the band’s name. Guns quit the year the band was formed, just ahead of a brief tour they had planned in Seattle. He went on to focus on his other band, L.A. Guns.

Izzy Stradlin
Guitar (1985 – 1991)

Izzy Stradlin was a childhood friend of Axl Rose — both grew up in Lafayette, Ind., and both shared the same dream of forming a rock band. They both made their way over to Los Angeles, and eventually reunited to form GN’R together.

Stradlin quietly left in 1991 after the release of their Use Your Illusion albums. He’d become sober, and no longer wanted to deal with the excess that came with the level of fame the band had achieved so quickly.

“I tried talking to [Rose], during the Illusion albums: ‘If we had a schedule here, come in at a certain time … ‘ And he completely blew up at me: ‘There is no f—ing schedule,'” Stradlin told Rolling Stone. “There was one song on that record that I didn’t even know was on it until it came out, ‘My World.’ I gave it a listen and thought, ‘What the fuck is this?’ But Axl made it clear that he was going to do things his way, and there was no space for debate. So I had to make it clear to everybody that that was the end of the line for me.”

When Guns reunited in 2016, Stradlin had apparently been invited to join them, and even attended a rehearsal. However, he later claimed in a since-deleted tweet that the band “didn’t want to split the loot equally,” so he opted out of the tour.

Ole Beich
Bass (1985)

Ole Beich was originally a member of L.A. Guns with Tracii Guns, but joined GN’R when they merged. According to Grunge, he was more of a metal fan, and wasn’t happy with the rock ‘n’ roll direction the band was heading in. So, he was fired after only a few rehearsals.

Guns recalled that Beich was unable to find success as a musician after his departure from GN’R, and he later tragically drowned in Denmark in 1991.

 

Rob Gardner
Drums (1985)

Rob Gardner was also a member of L.A. Guns before they became Guns N’ Roses. Just as Tracii Guns did, Gardner left GN’R just before their trek up the West Coast to Seattle.

Duff McKagan
Bass (1985 – 1997, 2016 – Present)

Duff McKagan replaced Ole Beich on the bass in GN’R in 1985. After the departures of Steven Adler, Izzy Stradlin and Slash, McKagan was the only original member aside from Axl Rose in 1997, but he, too, left the band. He endured a ruptured pancreas from alcoholism in the mid-’90s, and was starting a family around the time he left as well.

McKagan joined Rose and co. onstage for a couple of shows in the mid-2010s when they were touring in support of Chinese Democracy, and then he officially rejoined in 2016, along with Slash, when they announced their Not in This Lifetime tour.

Steven Adler
Drums (1985 – 1990)

Steven Adler was childhood friends with Slash, and actually inspired him to play the guitar, as he had one himself. The two began jamming together as teenagers, and eventually formed a band called Road Crew together. Duff McKagan had actually played in the band at one point as well. When Rob Gardner and Tracii Guns quit Guns N’ Roses, McKagan suggested Adler and Slash as their replacements.

Adler played on Guns’ first two releases, but had a rough battle with addiction, and was fired in 1990 after he couldn’t make it through his parts on “Civil War” in the studio. According to an interview he did on the Mom, It’s Not the Devil’s Music! podcast, he’d been given medication to treat his addiction at the time, but it was making him sicker, which resulted in his poor performance.

“I did my best, but I had to play, like, 25 times. So they were getting frustrated. And I kept telling them, ‘I’m sick.’ And they kept saying, ‘No, you’re not. You’re just fucked up.’ And I said, ‘I’m not fucked up. I’m sick.’ And I got kicked out,” he recalled.

Adler was invited to play with GN’R for a couple of shows in 2016 during their Not in This Lifetime reunion tour, but he never officially rejoined the band.

Slash
Guitar (1985 – 1996, 2016 – Present)

The top hat-wearing Slash had played a couple of shows in bands with Axl Rose, and he replaced Tracii Guns in the band in 1985 when they were about to head up north to Seattle. By the end of that trip, he was officially the guitarist for the group, and his signature swagger, in addition to his chemistry with Rose, became a huge part of GN’R’s legacy.

As more of the members of Guns were fired or left in the ’90s, Rose wanted the remaining musicians to sign contracts that would give him the rights to the band’s name. Slash cited this instance — as well as Rose’s inclusion of another guitarist named Paul Huge on their cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” — as the driving forces behind his decision to quit in 1996.

“It wasn’t even me necessarily leaving the band,” Slash told Piers Morgan in 2012 [via NME]. “It was not continuing on with the new band that Axl put together that he was now at the helm of, which was the new Guns N’ Roses. I was given a contract to basically join his new band, and it took about 24 hours before I decided, I think this is the end of the line.”

Fortunately, the dynamic duo of Slash and Rose were able to bury the hatchet in 2015, and he rejoined Guns N’ Roses with Duff McKagan in 2016. Though they didn’t necessarily think the reunion would be permanent, Slash is optimistic about the band’s future, especially given the couple of songs they’ve since put out together.

Matt Sorum
Drums (1990 – 1997)

Matt Sorum, who’d previously played in The Cult, was invited to joins Guns N’ Roses after the firing of Steven Adler. In a birthday post for Lars Ulrich on his Instagram, Sorum explained that the Metallica drummer is who gave Slash his phone number back when they were looking to find a replacement.

Sorum played on both Use Your Illusion albums (with the exception of “Civil War”) and on their 1993 covers album The Spaghetti Incident? Then, after Slash quit and Paul Huge became a member of the band, Sorum had a falling out with Axl Rose.

“‘Paul Huge walked into the studio and made a bad comment about Slash. I said, ‘You don’t say that when I’m in the room.’ Then Axl laid in, I argued with him and it was over. Huge followed me out into the parking lot and said, ‘Come back.’ I said, ‘I can’t come back, he’s fired me. Do you feel good about breaking up one of the greatest bands that ever lived?'” the dummer told Q Magazine in 2001 [via My GNR Forum].

When it came time for the band to reunite in 2016, Rose apparently wanted to keep his then-drummer Frank Ferrer in the band, so Sorum wasn’t invited to join.

“I think Axl is a loyal guy. He likes his band he’s had for a long time. He didn’t look at it that way,” the drummer told Rolling Stone. “If anyone in that band is loyal, it’s probably him. He was like, ‘I’m going to bring my guy [Frank Ferrer]. If I get Slash, that’s cool. If I get Duff, that’s cool too. And that’s enough.’ That’s how it went down, and that’s what they’re doing.”

Dizzy Reed
Keyboards (1990 – Present)

Dizzy Reed met Guns N’ Roses in 1985 during their club days and had kept in touch with Axl Rose over the years. He was broke and desperately needed a job, so the singer hired him in 1990.

“I was doing this thing called the couch tour,” Reed said in the 1993 Guns N’ Roses: Makin’ F@*!ing Videos documentary. “It was getting down to, I was like squatting in this apartment. I had like one day left and the phone was getting turned off.”

“Finally I got ahold of Axl and I go, ‘Dude, tomorrow there’s not gonna be a place to get ahold of me.’ Quite frankly man, I was starting to give up hope… The next day I got a call that said, ‘Dude, congratulations, you’re in the band.'”

Reed has been in the band ever since.

Gilby Clarke
Guitar (1991 – 1995)

Gilby Clarke was hired to fill in for Izzy Stradlin after he left in 1991. Prior to joining their massive world tour in support of the Use Your Illusion albums, Clarke had to learn about 50 of their songs in a single week before heading out. However, as the tour came to an end in 1993, the guitarist felt that his time in the band was nearing its end as well.

“I felt on the tour, as the tour was ending, that the band was over,” he said during an episode of Riki Rachtman’s Cathouse Hollywood Podcast. Therefore, he started working on a solo record, and doing some other side projects.

One day, he discovered through Slash that he wasn’t a member of GN’R anymore.

“He goes, ‘Axl doesn’t want you in the band anymore. … I don’t know what it is – I honestly don’t. Just go with it. I’m not saying this is permanent. I’m just saying this is where it is. He wants to work on some new music. He doesn’t see what we’re doing as viable.’ And that’s also the time when Slash decided to make the Slash’s Snakepit record. … [Axl] didn’t like Slash’s stuff either, but he wasn’t kicking Slash out of the band.”

Apparently, Slash came back a week later and rescinded his statements, but Clarke never received anymore paychecks from them, so he accepted that his tenure with them was over.

Paul ‘Huge’ Tobias
Guitar (1994 – 2002)

Paul Tobias, also known as Paul Huge, was a childhood friend of Axl Rose’s. The duo collaborated on the tracks “Back Off Bitch” and “Shadow of Your Love” together, which were originally written for Rose’s pre-GN’R band Hollywood Rose (they were later released as Guns tracks).

Rose brought Tobias into GN’R sometime in 1994, and he appeared on their cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” in place of Gilby Clarke. Slash told Q Magazine that Rose hiring another guitarist without telling him was one of their most personal issues.

After Slash, Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan all left, Tobias remained. He was given the nickname “the Yoko Ono of Guns N’ Roses” by Sorum.

“The public gets a different story from the other guys Slash, Duff, Matt — who have their own agendas. The original intentions between Paul and myself were that Paul was going to help me for as long as it took to get this thing together in whatever capacity that he could help me in. So when he first was brought into this, he was brought in as a writer to work with Slash. At the time those guys never suggested one name. Nobody else. Ever,” Rose said during a press conference in 2002 [via Here Today, Gone to Hell].

“Now whether or not Paul was going to be officially on the album or on the tour that really wasn’t an actual consideration at the time. It was in the air as a possibility but Paul was a friend trying to help us and he had a huge respect for Slash.”

Tobias did eventually work on Guns’ next album with Rose, but according to the singer, he wasn’t into the idea of going on a world tour. However, he’s credited on several songs on Chinese Democracy.

Josh Freese
Drums (1997 – 2000)

Following the departure of Matt Sorum, Josh Freese auditioned for GN’R, and as he mentioned in an interview on Drinks With Johnny, it was “kind of halfway against” his will. He worked in the studio with the band in 1998 and 1999, but because he didn’t think they were going to make much progress anytime soon, he left to join A Perfect Circle in 2000.

During his time in the band, Freese recorded drum tracks for a good amount of Chinese Democracy songs, but his parts were later re-recorded by Bryan “Brain” Mantia. He is, however, credited on the album.

Robin Finck
Guitar (1997 – 1999, 2000 – 2008)

Robin Finck has been a touring guitarist on and off for Nine Inch Nails since 1994, but he had a decent stint with Guns as well. He signed a two-year contract in 1997 to replace Slash as lead guitarist, and they recorded the track “Oh My God.” However, Chinese Democracy wasn’t completed within that time frame, so he went back to NIN for a bit, and then rejoined GN’R in 2000 to replace Paul Tobias.

“Guys came and went. Originally it was gonna be a two-guitar player group. I split forever so I thought and went back to Nine Inch Nails. In my absence they were looking to replace me and Josh Freese, the drummer at the time, had brought Buckethead in to essentially fill the slot I had left,” Finck told Ultimate Guitar.

“They really liked him but he’s kind of a stunt guitar player. He does a very specific thing and he has a real genius sensibility about him. But he rarely plays the same thing twice ever and when you’re trying to cruise through ‘Nightrain’ that just makes it a little too different. So they needed someone to anchor the songs. They kept Buckethead to do what Buckethead does and they needed someone else to play alongside.”

Finck toured with the band throughout much of the 2000s and played on all of Chinese Democracy, but then in 2008, announced that he was returning to Nine Inch Nails.

Tommy Stinson
Bass (1998 – 2014)

Tommy Stinson of The Replacements joined GN’R on bass in 1998 after Josh Freese told him that Duff McKagan had left.

“Guns N’ Roses were never my thing when the band first came out — they just weren’t my style. I thought at least it would be fun to play with Josh. But I learned five or six songs for the audition. We basically just jammed, and it was pretty fun. They seriously needed a bass player, so they asked if I’d do it,” Stinson told Bass Player in 2009 [via Blabbermouth].

Stinson appeared on the majority of the tracks on 2008’s Chinese Democracy, but as he stated in an interview with Rolling Stone, he had to leave the band in 2012 in order to stay home and take care of his kids.

Chris Pitman
Keyboardist (1998 – 2016)

In the late ’90s, Guns were looking for a second keyboardist to accompany Dizzy Reed, as well as provide background vocals and percussion. Billy Howerdel, who later became known for being a member of A Perfect Circle, had been working with GN’R as an engineer at the time, and he recommended Chris Pitman to them.

Pitman appeared on the track “Oh My God,” as well as various Chinese Democracy songs. However, when their Not in This Lifetime reunion tour was booked for 2016, Pitman apparently wasn’t invited to join, as he expressed some negative feelings on social media around the time it was announced.

“This is a nostalgia tour, please don’t mention those who are there the last 20 fkg years,” he wrote in a since-deleted post. “Oh god no! (a money grab) FU.”

Later that year, Pitman and Axl Rose settled a lawsuit that the former had filed against the frontman for unpaid debts.

Buckethead
Guitar (2000 – 2004)

After Robin Finck left GN’R to rejoin Nine Inch Nails in 1999, they were in search of a new guitarist. Josh Freese recalled on Drinks With Johnny that Axl Rose approached him about Buckethead, asking if he knew the guitarist, which he did.

“I told Buckethead, ‘Listen, man, I want to let you know that I don’t think I’m going to be here too much longer, my two-year contract is up soon. I don’t see these guys leaving the studio anytime too soon, as much as I like everyone down here. And I’m totally cool with Axl,'” Freese said.

However, Freese knew that he wasn’t going to be staying in the band once his contract was up, so he tried to warn Buckethead of the band’s lack of progress in the studio.

“Whereas there was so many other moving parts in the Guns N’ Roses thing, so much second-guessing that it seemed like, ‘This isn’t going to leave this room anytime soon.'”

The KFC bucket-wearing guitar player joined anyway, and played on much of Chinese Democracy and toured with the band until 2004. He also worked on a lot of solo material during his tenure with the band, and MTV noted that his departure was a result of their lack of releasing material.

Bryan ‘Brain’ Mantia
Drums (2000 – 2006)

Bryan “Brain” Mantia, who’d played in Primus for a short time, as well as Praxis with Buckethead, joined Guns in 2000 after Josh Freese left to form A Perfect Circle. He’d been recommended to Axl Rose by Buckethead.

“[Buckethead] told me that Josh had quit and said, ‘Axl’s an awesome dude. You should come check it out.’ So I went in there, and I didn’t hear back from them for a while. And then one day I remember Axl calling me and saying, ‘You know, if you want the gig you can have it, and you can still be on other stuff. You can still do Primus or whatever you want to do,’” Brain recalled to Modern Drummer.

The drummer re-recorded all of Freese’s parts, and played on the majority of the tracks on Chinese Democracy. He toured with the band until 2006 when his first child was born, and then was replaced by Frank Ferrer.

Richard Fortus
Guitar (2001 – Present)

It’s safe to say that Richard Fortus is one of the longest-standing members of Guns N’ Roses, aside from Axl Rose. He joined in 2001, replacing Paul Tobias, and has been a member of the band for about 20 consecutive years.

“[The band has] morphed through several different incarnations since I’ve been in it and some pretty big changes,” the guitarist told Fueled by Death Cast in 2017. “When I came in, I was really drawn to it because originally it was Josh Freese and Tommy Stinson and Robin Finck and Buckethead, and those were all guys that I had worked with before and was really excited to play with. I was a huge Replacements fan and, obviously, a big Nine Inch Nails fan. So working with those guys was really intriguing to me.”

Fortus admitted that prior to joining GN’R, he’d lumped them in with other ’80s Los Angeles bands, but eventually learned that they were more “equal parts Black Flag and Rolling Stones.” He played on a couple of songs on Chinese Democracy.

Frank Ferrer
Drums (2006 – Present)

When Bryan Mantia needed to leave Guns to tend to his family, Tommy Stinson and Richard Fortus recommended Frank Ferrer, whom they’d both played with in the past. He was initially just supposed to be a touring replacement, but officially became a member in late 2006. He played on several Chinese Democracy songs, and remains the band’s drummer today.

Bumblefoot
Guitar (2006 – 2014)

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal joined Guns in 2006 as a replacement for Buckethead, and according to a 2014 interview with Glide Magazine, it was renowned guitar player Joe Satriani that got him the gig.

“So it’s 2004 and we crossed paths and I ended up jamming with him at one of his shows and we’d talk every once in a while,” Bumblefoot said of his connection to Satriani. “Then he sent me an email saying, ‘Hey, I’m just letting you know that [Guns N’ Roses] were looking for someone and I recommended you and if someone reaches out,’ and a few hours later Chris Pitman wrote me this funny email and we spoke for about two months, back and forth, with management, with Caram Costanzo, the producer. Then there was a lull for about a year and a half and then they had a tour coming up and they said, ‘Hey, you still want to do this?'”

The guitarist played on Chinese Democracy and went on tour in support of it, but left the band in 2014. He explained the reasoning during an interview with us two years later.

“Anything I say [about GN’R] will end up turned into something bad that’s gonna hurt people that I don’t wanna hurt. And it just happens that way — that’s what ends up happening, even if I don’t mean it to,” he said.

“All I could say is you reach a time when you just know it’s time to move on and you just know that what you’ve seen for your life, what you see the future of your life and what that is, it’s not what you pictured for yourself.”

DJ Ashba
Guitar (2009 – 2015)

Following the departure of Robin Finck, who announced his return to Nine Inch Nails in 2008, DJ Ashba of Sixx: A.M. and Beautiful Creatures was confirmed as his replacement.

“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to be a part of a band that I have always loved and respected. I’m looking forward to working with Axl, who is not only one of the few great frontmen of our generation, but a true artist,” Ashba said in a statement in 2009.

The rocker is actually one of few artists on this list who had no participation in the long-awaited Chinese Democracy, as he joined the year after it came out. However, he remained a member of the band until 2015, when he revealed that he was leaving the group.

“It is with a very heavy heart and yet great pride that I announce that I’ve decided to close this chapter of my life and encapsulate the wonderful times that I’ve shared with Guns N’ Roses into fond memories,” he wrote in a handwritten letter on his website [via Billboard].

“I want to take a moment to thank Axl from the bottom of my heart for not only the most incredible experience of my life, but for truly believing in me. You are a true friend and a champion of mine and I am forever grateful. And even as I move on to pursue other endeavors, I will always remain one of your biggest fans.”

In early 2022, the guitarist stated that he had always hoped that Slash would return to the band, and he knew that his tenure as their lead guitarist was only temporary.

“Actually, Axl wanted me to stay on board, and it’s one of those things where I was playing most of the Slash parts, and if he was coming back, that was great news for me as a fan and even better news for me as a musician, because it was never my band. I was just basically filling in till the big guy came back,” he told Antihero Magazine.

Melissa Reese
Keyboardist (2016 – Present)

Guns added a feminine touch to its lineup in 2016 when they recruited Melissa Reese to replace former keyboardist Chris Pitman. Reese had become acquainted with Bryan Mantia, and they began collaborating together on some projects. Through the connection, she met Chinese Democracy producer Caram Costanzo, who recommended she fill in for Pitman when the band embarked on their Not in This Lifetime Tour.

“Guns is definitely still looked at as this dude’s thing, where it’s a male club and there’s no place for a chick,” she told Rolling Stone [via The Things]. “But you could not ask for a better group of dudes. That’s the band itself and everyone we work with. They’re protective of me. It’s beyond just having my back. We’re like a family, and they’re like my big brothers.”

 

 

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