Tom Zutaut, former Geffen Records A&R executive who was responsible for signing GUNS N' ROSES to the label, has reportedly responded to The New York Times article entitled "Success, excess and a music industry phantom" about GUNS N' ROSES' long-awaited "Chinese Democracy" album, which was dubbed by the paper "probably the most expensive recording never released."
According to the New York Times article, years after he left the label, Zutaut returned in 2001 to try to coax Axl Rose, the band's magnetic leader and by then its only original member, into completing one of the most highly anticipated albums in the industry. The deadline for turning in the album had passed two years earlier.
"I really thought I could get him to deliver the record," Zutaut, who spent nine months trying, was quoted as saying in the article. "And we got close."
Like everyone else who had tried, or has tried since, Zutaut came away empty-handed.
Zutaut's letter to The New York Times reads as follows:
"Axl Rose was one of the only artists I ever worked with who was never motivated by money. He consistently put the quality of his artistic output above all. Whether you consider him to be a musical genius on hold, a poster child for the misunderstood, or a narcissist, all of his actions are motivated by a pure desire to make every recording count as a true reflection of his own high standards.
"In a sea of musical mediocrity and generic voices processed into greatness by computers, Axl Rose achieved the American dream in music without compromising his integrity for the sake of fame or fortune. I am sure that Axl's new GUNS N' ROSES will impact popular culture with the same vigor and vitality that made 'Appetite for Destruction' a part of musical history."