The web site of French news magazine L'Express has a short clip of GUNS N' ROSES performing "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" at the Rodeo Drive's Walk of Style ceremony on February 8 in Beverly Hills, California. Watch it at LExpress.fr.
The event was a star-studded gala honoring Donatella and the late Gianni Versace. A wall-to-wall A-List, including Jennifer Lopez, Cindy Crawford, Ashton Kutcher, Sharon Stone, Quincy Jones, Naomi Campbell, Elton John (who also performed), Demi Moore, Prince, Elizabeth Hurley, Ingrid Sischy, Sebastian Bach, Mischa Barton, Franca Sozzani, Paris Hilton and many others attended the event.
Donatella Versace personally asked Axl Rose if GN'R would perform, and Axl obliged with a stripped-down version of GN'R featuring guitarists Richard Fortus and Ron "BumbleFoot" Thal, who played acoustics on "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" and "Sweet Child O'Mine" to close out the ceremony.
With full command of the stage, Axl moved and sang like only Axl can. Bassist Tommy Stinson was unable to attend because of a personal family issue so keyboardist Chris Pitman filled in admirably on bass. Lead guitarist Robin Finck, keyboard player Dizzy Reed and drummer Frank Ferrer all tore it up.
GUNS N' ROSES fans can now cross March 6 off their calendars as the release date for the band's long-delayed new album, "Chinese Democracy". Although Axl Rose pledged last December to try and get the record out on that date, Rose confidante Del James has issued an update in which he said that there is "no official release date" for the CD. James wrote, "The good news is that all of the recording for the album has been completed...the band is currently mixing, but after some delays and scheduling difficulties, things appear to be moving along."
James added, "Drummer Frank Ferrer and guitarist Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal integrated themselves into the recordings seamlessly and will have their presence felt."
Ferrer and Thal replaced drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia and guitarist Buckethead respectively.
A song called "Better", reportedly the first single from "Chinese Democracy", was leaked online earlier this week but quickly disappeared again. Thal posted online that the track was an "experimental mix" of the song, adding, "It's like working on a painting, and someone displaying it when it's only half done."
"Chinese Democracy" has been in the works for more than a decade, with the project reportedly costing over $13 million. Rose is the only remaining member of the original GUNS N' ROSES lineup.