Another obstacle has popped up to thwart the oft-discussed reunion of Guns N' Roses. Buckethead — the mysterious, masked guitar wizard who holds a place in the most recent of the band's many lineups — has been too sick to rehearse with the group, forcing the cancellation of a planned tour of Europe.
GN'R was slated to kick off its European trek June 1 at the Rock Im Park in Nuremberg, Germany, and play a total of 14 shows, concluding with a June 28 performance at Denmark's Roskilde Festival.
No word was given on the nature of Buckethead's illness, but he is reportedly being treated as an outpatient for internal hemorrhaging problems. A note on his official Web site says, "Buckethead is OK at this point in time. The problem is still being looked into."
Frontman Axl Rose, the band's only remaining original member, has been working on comeback album Chinese Democracy for six years. Rose has spent time in the studio with numerous musicians, but the act finally appeared to be getting off the ground with the latest incarnation, which includes former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, former Nine Inch Nails collaborator Robin Finck, former Primus drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia, keyboardist Dizzy Reed (a holdover from GN'R's latter days), guitarist Paul Huge, and Buckethead.
That set of musicians got their act together to perform a well-reviewed New Year's Eve show in Las Vegas and also flew to Brazil to perform at the massive Rock in Rio festival.
Band members hinted that Chinese Democracy would finally be ready for a summer release. Interscope Records, however, still has not set a release date for the album.