GUNS N' ROSES' surprise performance at Thursday's 19th annual MTV Video Music Awards has received mixed reviews from fans of the hard rock group, with many of the band's longtime followers in agreement that frontman Axl Rose's vocal delivery left a bit to be desired as GN'R belted out a medley of "Welcome to the Jungle", a new song called "Madagascar", and the classic "Paradise City" at the close of last night's presentation.Following the band's performance, Rose — sporting long braids and a bandana — told MTV's Kurt Loder that the wait for GUNS N' ROSES' much-anticipated new album, Chinese Democracy, will continue. "You'll see [the album], but I don't know if 'soon' is the word," Rose explained to MTV News immediately after unveiling the current GN'R lineup to an American television audience for the first time. "It will come out, and we'll do some more recording and start the American leg of the tour," he promised. Thursday night's VMA performance marked GN'R's first since 1992, when the band performed "November Rain" with Elton John. The band remained largely off the map in the decade that followed, shedding members and bringing in fresh blood. Axl and his current lineup — which includes drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia, former REPLACEMENTS bassist Tommy Stinson and guitarists Buckethead and Robin Finck — have been working on Chinese Democracy for years. "How do you make a whole bunch of guys into something that already was, and with this intensity of these players wanting to play this material?" Rose said of the delay. To download a video of GN'R's VMA performance and Rose's post-show interview, visit The Lost Rose web site at this location. In other news, the following item comes to us courtesy of today's edition of the New York Post: Welcome to the bungle: Axl Rose appears to have pulled a Mickey Rourke and gotten enough plastic surgery to make him look more like a muppet than the sneering GUNS & ROSES frontman we know and love. The reclusive rocker understandably didn't want to, uh, face the press last night at his Video Music Awards after-party at the Old Homestead and barred journalists from attending. That's fine with us. We'd rather remember the way Axl looked when his rugged mug charmed the likes of Stephanie Seymour and countless big-haired groupies.[end] Also on the GN'R-related front, former guitarist Slash recently told Rolling Stone that despite his well-publicized war-of-words with Rose following the pair's parting-of-the-ways several years back, he is actually looking forward to Axl's return to the music scene. "I think the world always need a GUNS N' ROSES, or else music gets too soft," said the guitarist whom Rose barred from attending a GN'R show in Vegas last year.. "I wish [Axl Rose and the new band] all the luck in the world, and I hope the album sells. I'd love to see them… if they let me in this time."
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