By Jon Wiederhorn
Guns N’ Roses fans in Cincinnati, Ohio were thrilled to see the band’s original drummer Steven Adler rejoin his former bandmates onstage last night (July 6) for rousing versions of early GNR songs “Out Ta Get Me” and “My Michelle.” The appearance marks the first time Adler has played at a concert with the band since 1990, the year he was booted for drug abuse. (He also performed with Slash and Duff McKagan at the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, but Axl Rose declined to attend the event).
Adler played along with pre-reunion drummer Frank Ferrer during the show, which marks another step towards unifying the band’s complete late ’80s lineup. That would require the return of original guitarist Izzy Stradlin’. So for now, fans will have to be content watching vocalist Axl Rose, guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and keyboardist Dizzy Reed rocking out with the group’s newer members, Ferrer, second guitarist Richard Fortus and second keyboardist Melissa Reese.
There was speculation that Adler was preparing to play with Guns earlier in the “Not in This Lifetime” tour, but he suffered a back injury that required surgery. There have been no reports regarding whether Adler will perform at future shows on the tour, which runs through August 22 in San Diego, California.
To the surprise of some, who expected Rose to be temperamental and possibly refuse to play shows—as he did in the past—the Not in this Lifetime tour has been a tremendous success.
“We were all pretty positive that would never happen so it’s still sort of blowing our minds,” said Slash in an interview with Radio.com affiliate WZLX in Boston. “It seems so surreal to me, but everybody’s really getting along great and I think everybody’s come a long way and it’s all cool. Everybody’s playing great and the shows have been awesome.”