The NY Times has an interesting article chronicling the mess of Axl Rose's attempt to finish a follow-up to GNR's last studio album of new material, which was released in 1991. I used to be a huge fan of GNR, but like many others, have since given up waiting. Here is a quick list of things that have changed since then:
1991 -- Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and grunge became popular later that same year, killing the demand for most heavy metal bands at the time (GNR, Metallica, and then Pantera were major exceptions, despite the similarity of grunge to metal in many respects).
1991 -- The New England Patriots are pretty much a joke.
1991 -- The Olson twins are only a few years old.
1992 -- Axl wants to take Nirvana on tour with them, but gets rebuffed by the Seattle trio. Axl blabbers about how much U2's "One" means to him in interviews.
1992 -- Bill Clinton was elected president.
1992 -- I'm still buying tapes mostly.
1993 -- Stone Temple Pilots are popular but derided for singer Scott Weiland's apparent Eddie Vedder impression.
1993 -- Departed GNR guitarist Izzy Stradlin, who left the band to avoid the pressures of the music business, releases his first solo disc, sounding like Keef-heavy Rollling Stones.
1993 -- GNR members say that Axl, wanting to stay current, wants to emulate the grunge sound.
1993 -- I enter college. My friend Carl helps me put a modem on my computer, which helps me access this awesome invention -- e-mail!
1993 -- U2 release Zooropa, and start getting really weird.
1993 -- Hell Freezes Over and the Eagles reunite for a tour.
1993-94 -- "Industrial music" was popular, and suddenly lots of bands had weird clanking noises and overdriven keyboards.
1994 -- Pearl Jam fought Ticketmaster, and lost.
1994 -- GNR members say that Axl wants to stay current and try the industrial sound.
1994 -- The grunge fad ended, but probably helps to open the door for pop punk like Green Day.
1994 -- Does anyone remember when the Counting Crows were taken seriously?
1994 -- Republicans, for the first time in many decades, take control of the House of Representatives, as well as the U.S. Senate.
1994 -- Count Kurt Cobain as one person who will never hear the new GNR disc, because he kills himself.
1995 -- Nothing much happens. I had a fun job working at a supermarket for the summer though.
1996-- They show us how to use the computers at school to access the World Wide Web. Boy there is a lot of porn out there!
1996 -- Bill Clinton is reelected president. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry barely survives a challenge from Gov. Bill Weld for his Senate seat.
1996 -- Metallica try to go from harsh metal to some weird mix of southern rock and college music that they think is current, and cut their hair.
1997 - I graduate from college. Still no GNR follow-up.
1997-98 -- Bands like Fastball are very popular. Men feel creepy for fantasizing about Brittany Spears and Christina Aguilara.
1997 -- U2 release "Pop" which is a commentary about consumerism or something. Even with my college degree I can't figure it out.
1998 -- People are talking a lot about Napster, but I have no idea how to use it.
1999 -- Metal is back, but now its "nu-metal," which is unhappier than the LA glam bands. Kid Rock appears to be the sole happy face here. Limp Bizkit is considered very hot and cutting edge.
1999 -- Music magazines report that the new GNR record is a big mess, with tons of high paid studio musicians rotating in and out of the project.
2000 -- Al Gore is beaten by George W. Bush for the presidency, despite getting some momentum when he chose Sen. Joe Lieberman to be his running mate.
2000 -- Limp Bizkit is now regarded as mostly a joke.
2001 -- The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 2001 occur, and for a few weeks, people resolve to do away with cynicism and violent movies.
2001 -- U2 release about a million singles from "All That You Can't Leave Behind."
2002 -- The New England Patriots win the Super Bowl, their first since entering the league in 1959.
2002 -- Men can fantasize about Brittany and Christina without feeling dirty, although Christina is all pierced and weird looking.
2003 -- Men can now feel safe fantisizing about the Olson twins as well.
2003 -- Kids don't remember tapes, much less vinyl.
2003 -- I get married!
2003 -- Kid Rock goes country.
2003 -- Hell Freezes Over again and the Eagles are back with another tour.
2004 -- The Pats win the Super Bowl again, the Boston Red Sox win the World Series for the first time since 1918. U2 has another monster hit album.
2004 -- After releasing a few forgettable discs, GNR members Slash, Duff and Matt Sorum get together with STP frontman Weiland. Times have changed -- Weiland is now the only one in the ground with any momentum, but this, combined with the nostalgic appeal of the ex-Gunners, results in a popular disc that mimics neither GNR nor STP.
2004-- George W. Bush is reelected, beating John Kerry.
2004 -- Metallica release a movie focused on them talking about their feelings.
2005 -- All of my friends from college are married or engaged. Pats win the Super Bowl again. Digital music is so popular that even I use the iTunes store. Izzy Stradlin, who was supposedly too lazy for the music business, has five solo discs, Axl has spent $14 million of Geffen's money and STILL hasn't gotten his disc out.