Before The Delayed Release Of Chinese Democracy, There Was The Delayed Release Of Rapidfire

Think a decade long wait for an Axl-related record is long? Doesn’t have shit on the wait for Rapidfire. For those who aren’t up to snuff on their Rock N’ Roses trivia, Rapidfire is Axl’s very first project: before GN’R, and before Hollywood Rose. On May 25th, 1983, Rapidfire set to tape a five song demo (including the awesomely clichéd titles “All Night Long” and “Ready To Rumble,” and the ironically fitting “Closure”) which Mr. Rose has fought ever since to keep under wraps.

Problem is, the demo legally belongs to Rapidfire bandmate Kevin Lawrence. And after years of attempting to get Axl’s blessing (out of politeness and formality), offering to tweak the production to suit Axl’s fancy, Lawrence is saying to hell with it; the time is now. Here’s Kevin’s last message to “Axl fan” (misspellings lovingly preserved):

I an sorry for the huge delay in releasing the Rapidfire 1983 Demos.
My attorney has been working with Axl’s attorney for some time now trying to come out with a way to release these demos which is acceptible to Axl.
Regardless though of what he wants, the law states that I can release these at any time and have the full legal right to do so. Because at one time (and if I ever spoke to him now) I considered Axl a friend, I am trying to work beyond the scope of my legal rights with him, out of my respect and admiration for him. Regardless though, if in the future he chooses not to cooperate, the CD will come out commercially. Once again I am sorry to all of you for the delay, but the legal process moves very slowly.

Kevin Lawrence

The letter was posted to the Rapidfire site in August of ’06, so why bring this up now? Simple: We’re one week from the 24th Anniversary of Rapidfire’s recording, and yes it’s highly likely this 24-year-old record will see release before Chinese Democracy. Incontrovertible evidence that, no matter the development and no matter the date, Axl Rose is and always will be an infinite reservoir of absurdity. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a talent worth celebrating.