Following last week's announcement that Guns N' Roses would make its first live appearance in seven years at the third "Rock in Rio" festival in January 2001, on Friday there was more news from the GN'R camp. Guitarists Robin Finck — who has switched allegiances back and forth between GN'R and Nine Inch Nails during the past couple of years — and Buckethead have now been officially confirmed as part of the ever-changing talent roster for the fabled Chinese Democracy album.
Finck, who joined GN'R in 1997 before jumping ship in August 1999 to rejoin NIN, told Wall of Sound in May he had left because the process of making Chinese Democracy seemed to be never-ending. "It was great for a while, but then it became terribly frustrating not seeing anything completed because no lyrics were finished," said the guitarist. "No one song was ever completed — and I was there for two and a half years."
The enigmatic Buckethead comes to the group with an impressive, albeit eccentric, resume, which includes numerous solo albums, collaborations with Bill Laswell, funk master Bootsy Collins, and others and soundtrack contributions to films like The Last Action Hero. He's also renowned for performing in masks and with a bucket on his head — which at least is a far sight more fashion-forward than those damn bandanas Axl Rose sported.
According to the statement issued by GN'R's management, Big FD Entertainment, Chinese Democracy also has a new A&R man overseeing affairs. Bob Ezrin, famed producer of Pink Floyd's The Wall and longtime Alice Cooper crony, joins Roy Thomas Baker in the dubious endeavor of shepherding the completion and promotion of the long-delayed release.
Although no mention of a final release date for Chinese Democracy or the Rock in Rio shows is made in the statement, it does note that Finck and Buckethead are signed on for the album's "accompanying world tour expected to commence summer 2001."