Last night, Blabbermouth posted an item claiming that it had found new Guns N’ Roses-related artwork, and that said art was intended to accompany either the “Shackler’s Revenge” digital download or–gasp–Chinese Democracy. But when I clicked through from my RSS feed to the post this morning, I found that it had since been removed. Cached posts scattered around the ‘Net revealed that the item quoted “writer Erin Fox” as having found the cover from Microsoft, who I guess would have distributed the cover because “Shackler’s Revenge” is going to become commercially available via the forthcoming video game Rock Band 2. (Just in case you’re wondering, that explanation makes no sense to me, either. And I have no idea who Erin Fox might be.)
While trawling the Internet for further information on this mysterious bit of art–naturally, I wanted to see if Blabbermouth had removed the post because of pressure from the band’s very hands-on management or because it wanted to wipe bits of egg off its face–I found a thread on the GNR forum GNRevolution that not only revealed it as fan-made, it teased a lurker out of the woodwork who went by the name of “azoff.” As in Irving Azoff, the band’s manager? Well, not quite–but that doesn’t mean my curiosity wasn’t piqued by his cryptic posts.
Initially, he came out as saying that the image wasn’t legit because of “staples” on the side, although those seem to have been the result of someone cropping the jewel box out of the initial version of the artwork. But as longtime members of the board got more and more frustrated with him–a sysadmin even changed his name to “Impostor”!–he said that he was an “associate” of Azoff. And then he began speaking in riddles! Are these clues about the album, or someone having fun by riling up a bunch of insomniac fanboys? I’ll quote a few of his aphorisms and let you decide.
The best artistic results come from those who are fans of their subject.
First, let me assure you that you are not the enemy.
This has been an incredible journey. While many are weary, others have been renewed. I know the destination, and we are collectively drawing near. The balance of the journey will be an entirely new experience.
What is your level of anticipation? What do you hope for?
My anticipation is quieted, for I know the result of many efforts before it has arrived. My hopes lie with people like you.
With time drawing short, let me offer one piece. Thirteen points of light will rise from dark. The meanings will vary to many.
While points travel in differing directions, and sometimes dimensions, they all arrive in the same place eventually.
It’s like a message-board version of the UNIX fortune program, no? Hey, wait a second… fortune, fortune cookies, Chinese Democracy… is this thing really, actually, coming out? And will it have 13 tracks? And can I assure all of you that you are not the enemy, either?