If there were ever any doubts about the popularity and financial pulling power of Guns N’ Roses, they have been shredded by figures emerging from their recent Not in This Lifetime… Tour.
Since hitting the road on April 1, 2016 with three members of the original line up on board, Axl, Slash, Duff and co. have pulled in revenue approaching $500m. Not since 1993 has the band performed with at least three original members and that number became four when drummer Steven Adler filled a guest spot for several shows.
To put those numbers in perspective, only three other tours, U2 (2009-11), The Rolling Stones (2005-07) and Coldplay (2016-17) have grossed more money in music history. It was also revealed that “November Rain” has become the first 1990s music video to achieve more than one billion views on YouTube. The band also holds the record for the most viewed video of the 1980s, with “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
The latest tour was announced in 2015 and began with a show at Coachella, where Axl Rose and guitarist Slash shared a stage for the first time since they split in 1993. The success has also prompted the release of a remastered box set of the band’s classic debut album Appetite For Destruction. The disc was first released in 1987 and was one of the iconic releases of the time. The box set also includes 25 unreleased demos from 1986 plus 12 remastered EP and B-side tracks and is available in several formats, one of which includes a book, Bluray, posters and fliers amongst other paraphernalia.
The band’s original line up of Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler also features a new Guns and Roses slotmachine game released by NetEnt, with the title featuring their iconic music from the ’80s and ’90s. The demand for G N’ R merch is set to continue as the band still has dozens of shows lined up though the end of 2018. Their current range includes items such as kitchen scales and aprons so even home cooks can rock out while knocking up the family meal.
The success of the tour is expected to draw other bands out of retirement including Pink Floyd, whose fans have been clamouring for a reunion. Their Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour was the highest grossing run of the 1980s and their Division Bell Tour was the third highest grossing tour of the 1990s. When Roger Waters took The Wall on the road in 2010, it became the fourth-highest grossing tour of the 2010s.
As for Guns N’ Roses, by the end of the year there is a high chance they may have leapfrogged Coldplay into third place in the all-time list. The British band’s A Head Full of Dreams Tour in 2016-17 brought in a gross figure of $523m from just 114 shows.