The legacy of Guns N’ Roses is one for the ages, with eccentric behaviour alongside epic hard rock anthems combined to put them in the history books. The band took many forms since 1985, with the only constant being the master of anarchy Axl Rose. Still, fellow founders Duff McKagan and Slash are always tied to the band’s glory days and returned to the fold in 2016.

For a band that made its name a few decades ago and hasn’t consistently spun out hits since, it may not seem like big news that they’re working on a new album. However, GNR is still one of the biggest and most instantly recognisable bands in the world, continuing to sell out stadiums around the world to this day.

Remaining in the limelight for all of these years

Great music and eccentricity got Guns N’ Roses to the pinnacle of the industry, but its endearing appeal, more often than not, spanned from controversy. Still, they did more than enough to earn an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, even though Axl Rose protested against his inclusion. This has never been an uncommon trait of the legendary frontman, which has helped to add to the legacy of the band.

Perhaps the most important milestone in the history of Guns N’ Roses was a result of the band’s antics – and Rose’s outspoken nature. The Use Your Illusion Tour ran from the start of 1991 to mid-1993, playing 194 of 209 scheduled shows. However, it was swarmed by negative press due to cancellations, the band turning up late, Rose’s rants, and even some riots – all of which in retrospect would be termed pretty rock and roll.

Still, that colossal tour was the end of it for guitarist Axl Rose and bassist Duff McKagan, who both left the band. For years, people sought a reunion and comeback, which eventually came to fruition in 2016 with the ironically named Not in This Lifetime… Tour. Following on from the epic Use Your Illusion Tour, the reunion show spanned 158 dates from mid-2016 to late 2019. Expected to be their last outing, GNR then pencilled in a new stadium tour for 2020, which couldn’t be fulfilled.

To make up for this, a new worldwide stadium tour was announced. This one commenced with a hefty North American leg from July 2021, which expanded with more dates and venues. In March 2022, they were in South America. In the summer, they’ll be back in the US and then in Europe, with a new summer tour rescheduled date in London, featuring at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 1 and 2 June. Then, back to South America, up to Mexico, and over to Oceania.

It’s not just live events that GNR has been doing either. In 2021, they released reworkings of the Chinese Democracy era-written tracks Absurd and Hard Skool, with more said to be on the way. Earlier this year, Slash did say that the focus will be on the material they already had and that the band hadn’t properly sat around to do any writing to that point. 

Guns N’ Roses continues to be a colossal music brand

If there’s one non-music aspect that sets Guns N’ Roses apart from so many all-time great bands, it’s their ability to monetise their brand. GNR merchandise is coveted by music fans and loved the world over. In fact, it was revealed in court filings that GNR merchandise has raked in more than $15 million. The website is still selling classic bad shirts and jackets, as well as Slash-style top hats and even yo-yos. The band closely protects its branding and quality. GNR will tour with lawyers to snoop out unofficial merchandise.

The band has even found a way to keep its logo and members at the forefront of the modern entertainment audience. LeoVegas, which is sitting in fourth place among the best online casinos in the UK for 2022, prominently uses the official Guns N’ Roses slot game to attract new players. The platform is famed for its mobile offering and live games, along with its full detailed review of each operator and their bonuses offered, but music fans continue to gravitate to its GNR slot. Not only does it play a setlist of their biggest hits, but the features also see the likes of Rose and Slash expand to trigger the bonus features.

Perhaps not by design, given how outspoken Axl Rose is, but Slash’s low-key celebrity status has certainly kept GNR at the forefront of the rock music conversation. Known as one of the all-time great guitarists, you’ll often see a new interview with Slash or even a feature that recounts a writer’s day with the legendary axeman. Earlier this year, he popped up again for his riff in Sweet Child O’ Mine being voted the most iconic of all time. On top of this, his own YouTube channel has over 740,000 subscribers, and he has 3.9 million followers on Instagram.

Guns N’ Roses have remained relevant and loved to this day despite what looked to essentially be turmoil just a couple of decades ago. This is why there’s so much anticipation for a new GNR album.

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