La historia de un disco: Chinese Democracy, de una banda: Guns N' Roses y sobre todo de su lider: Axl Rose. O de como tras casi once años de espera, no hay disco, no se sabe si aún hay banda ni tampoco si hay líder en ella. Y también, por qué no, de la fanaticada que espera.

Mr. Rose began work on the album in 1994, recording in fits and starts with an ever-changing roster of musicians, marching through at least three recording studios, four producers and a decade of music business turmoil. The singer, whose management said he could not be reached for comment for this article, went through turmoil of his own during that period, battling lawsuits and personal demons, retreating from the limelight only to be followed by gossip about his rumored interest in plastic surgery and "past-life regression" therapy. Along the way, he has racked up more than $13 million in production costs, according to Geffen documents, ranking his unfinished masterpiece as probably the most expensive recording never released. As the production has dragged on, it has revealed one of the music industry's basic weaknesses: the more record companies rely on proven stars like Mr. Rose, the less it can control them.

"Having exceeded all budgeted and approved recording costs by millions of dollars," the label wrote in a letter dated Feb. 2 , 2004, "it is Mr. Rose's obligation to fund and complete the album, not Geffen's." The tab at Village studio was closed out, and Mr. Rose tried a brief stint recording at the label's in-house studio before that too was ended. The band's computer gear, guitars and keyboards were packed away. Over a legal challenge by Mr. Rose, the label issued a greatest-hits compilation, in search of even a modest return on their eight-figure investment. Released in March of 2004, it turned out to be a surprisingly strong seller, racking up sales of more than 1.8 million copies even without any new music or promotional efforts by the original band. The original band's debut, "Appetite for Destruction," which has sold 15 million copies, remains popular and racked up sales of another 192,000 copies last year, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It is a sign that Mr. Rose's audience still waits.

El artículo apareció en el NYT, es larguísimo, pero si eres fan de los gansos vale la pena que lo leas de cabo a rabo. ¿Será este artículo parte de la campaña de marketing previa a la salida, ahora sí, del disco?

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