Wow! Talk about bringing up some old issues. Guns N’ Roses frontman, Axl Rose has decided to sue Activision and the Guitar Hero team over, get this, 2007’s Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock regarding a dispute that Axl had with his band in the early 1990’s.
We already knew that Axl was not happy with the fact that Guitar Hero III featured Slash playing “Welcome to the Jungle”, a song which he played lead guitar on in real life, but this is the first time we’re hearing of Axl actually going through with a lawsuit.
According to the court document, obtained by RadarOnline.com:
Activision breached the contract when it released GH III which prominently features Slash imagery in direct connection with the use of “Welcome to the Jungle,” exploits the prior association between Slash and Guns N’ Roses, promotes Slash’s and VR’s (Velvet Revolver) separate interests and includes VR tracks as available downloads, all of which was and is directly contrary to the contractual obligations of Defendants.
We’re assuming Axl’s just mad about a video game showing people that are real members of Guns N’ Roses playing Guns N’ Roses songs.
All sarcasm aside, why would Axl pursue this for any other reason than to be difficult? Does it really harm him or his current band to have a former band mate play a song he helped write and popularize? We know that Slash plays other Guns N’ Roses songs in real life at his solo shows and formerly at Velvet Revolver concerts, so why is it a problem to have a virtual representation of Slash playing a master track that he was actually a part of?
The total of the lawsuit is said to be $20 million in damages, punitive damages, and other costs.
We don’t know all of the particulars, aside from the fact that Axl owns the licenses to the Guns N’ Roses catalog, so we guess he legally has the rights to sue over the use of a song he licensed to be in a game, but it all goes to back up what Slash personally told me: any licensing of Appetite for Destruction for Guitar Hero or Rock Band has to go through Axl, so it will never happen.