“South Park” ramped up the debate over their rather curious Dr Pepper connection on last night’s season finale by making the soft drink a semi-major plot point. The episode found Kenny and Cartman briefly living in a foster home run by a pair of strict Agnostics. As the father is giving his new children a tour of his home, he declares that they are only allowed to drink “Agnostic beverages.” He then opens the fridge to reveal it packed to the gills with Dr Pepper.
“What flavor is it?” the father opines as he holds up a can. “It is neither root beer nor cola. Nobody is sure what flavor it is, and nobody can be sure.”
The foster parents later get in trouble for providing nothing to drink but the Pep, and it’s eventually revealed they cruelly (and hilariously) punish the insolent members of their brood with gallons of the sticky sweetness. It should be noted that the episode singled out another leisure beverage, Pabst Blue Ribbon, as the cause of any and all domestic disputes between lower class caucasians in rural areas.
So, this would all seem to confirm Dr Pepper’s recent assertion that they have no affiliation with “South Park,” right? Would a Texas-based soft drink giant agree to get into bed with this show if it knew their product would be aligned with Agnostics? Would any soft drink company sign up for this if they knew their product would be used as a torture device on frightened children in a dimly lit basement? Doesn’t seem likely. I guess this was the Parker/Stone way of saying, “We do not have any kind of placement deal, we’re just gloriously fucking with another American institution.”
On the other hand, Dr Pepper got in bed with those rabble rousers Guns n’ Roses a few years ago by trying to give everyone in the country free soda to mark the release of Chinese Democracy. Granted, that turned into a complete wash, but it proves that this beverage brand isn’t above working with profane, subversive, and strange entertainment entities. Again, I declare this investigation ongoing, and the bottom shall be reached hopefully before I expire.
No, I didn’t kidnap Sebastian Bach. There was a listening party at Webster Hall in Manhattan. To answer the burning question most music fans have about Chinese Democracy, no, Shaquille O’Neal doesn’t rap anywhere on that shit.
I can’t say much else about Chi Dem at the moment because I’m working on a feature about it for next week’s edition of Crawdaddy! However, I will state for the record that I think David Fricke was being quite generous when he awarded GNR Album No. 6: Abuse Your Delusion four stars in his review for Rolling Stone. Quite generous.
Tune in to Crawdaddy! next Wednesday to get the full Chinese Democracy monty from JG2. I can’t promise free Dr Pepper, but it should be worth the wait.
P.S. – Axl was not at the Webster Hall listening party. Neo-GNR guitarist Bumblefoot was, though. Like every celebrity, he’s much shorter in real life.
P.P.S. – I realize calling Bumblefoot a celebrity might seem like a stretch. Remember, in my world, the two guys from Ski School are equal to your Brad Pitt and George Clooney.
The first single from Chinese Democracy was released today, but I don’t necessarily take that as a sign the long-awaited album will actually hit Best Buy shelves next month. There’s plenty of time between now and November 23rd for Axl to cancel the whole thing with one wave of his freckled forearm.
I can already envision Blackwater-esque armed guards raiding Best Buys across the country minutes before the clock strikes 11/23, acting on strict orders from William Bailey himself to round up every copy of Chi Dem and send the bulk to the same Arizona landfill that houses all the unsold E.T. Atari cartridges from the 1980s. It would be a dick movie, sure, but at least Axl’s sanity would momentarily be in check and Dr Pepper would save God knows how many gallons of their delightful sugary pop.
But I digress. The newest GNR single is the title track from CD, which you can hear here (complete with an annoying female voice sexily saying, “Music on demand!” to discourage you from bootlegging this shit and throwing it on YouTube!). It’s a barely different version from the one included in the infamous June 2008 Nine Song GNR Leak (which I reviewed here). I stand by my original opinion. “Chinese Democracy” is nothing special. It’s certainly not the door-smasher Axl needs to get the world revved up about his fourteen years-in-the-making project. He probably should have lead off with something completely fresh—i.e. a tune that wasn’t part of the aforementioned leak, like “Sorry” or “Prostitute.”
Of course, who am I to be giving Axl Rose armchair advice? He’s the botoxed, cornrowed genius who fired Slash and replaced him with Buckethead. I’m just some schmoe in Brooklyn who’s never had the balls to even once combine a kilt with a Charles Manson t-shirt.
I mean, this is a perfectly acceptable album cover following a decade plus of musical shenanigans:
No way does that look like the cover to a Blues Traveler b-side. You’re on target, Axl. Stay the course and all will be forgiven. You know I’ll be linin’ up at midnight for this shit, wrapped in a couple extra sweaters in case the riots get too out of hand. Chinese Democracy starts now, bitch tits! It’s gonna make the Super Bowl look like the Pro Bowl (oh, SNAP)!
According to this article, some website I’ve never heard of called Hits Daily Double is reporting a November 23rd release date for Chinese Democracy, a.k.a. Guns n’ Roses Presents Rock n’ Roll Waterworld: Use Your Delusion III. The album, as you may have heard, is going to be sold exclusively at Best Buy. If this 11/23 nonsense is true, die-hard GNR fanatics in rural Kansas are gonna be bummed they have to drive their tractors to “the Big City” (read: Wichita) to pick up the soundtrack to Axl Rose’s mid-life crisis.
If we get down to 10:30 p.m. on November 22 and this shit hasn’t been canceled/denied/revoked, you can bet your sweet bippy I’ll head over to the nearest Best Buy to scope the wild rock n’ roll scene. You know people are gonna be lining up at midnight for this yazz. It could be the last great yawn from one of the Reagan era’s most important (and now impotent) bands. I wonder if anyone will show up dressed as Buckethead/Bumblefoot/Brain/any other current Guns member whose name begins with or prominently features the letter B.
My favorite comment from the article linked above:
“[Can't wait] to download it and pass it to my friends. Then we will laugh and remember the good ole days, when it was Guns N Roses. Not the Axl Rose mystery Pro Tools tour starring every cast-off musician since 1995.” – Blabberhole
So true. Meanwhile, Dr Pepper is shitting their pants trying to figure out how to give everyone in America a free soda is Chinese Democracy actually hits shelves. I predict some kind of dumb-ass voucher situation.
Guns n’ Roses has issued a statement regarding Kevin Cogill, the blogger who was arrested last week for posting nine songs on his blog Antiquiet in June that were allegedly from the band’s forthcoming album, Chinese Democracy (an album that’s been forthcoming since before I had pubic hair):
“Though we don’t support this guy’s actions at that level, our interest is in the original source. We can’t comment publicly at this time as the investigation is ongoing.”
You can’t comment publicly at this time? O RLY? Well, guess what, Axl – go back and read your first sentence. “Though we don’t support this guy’s actions at that level, our interest is in the original source.” That, my cornrowed friend, is a comment. Made publicly. By you.
No wonder it took you thirteen years to complete nine songs.
Axl Rose and the employees of Axl Rose Industries, INC aren’t the only Gunners yakking about this issue. Former GNR guitarist/walking top hat museum Slash told somebody the other day that he hopes Cogill “rots in jail.” Ouch. Sounds like someone is still bitter over his exclusion from Dr Pepper’s charitable offer. Hey Slash baby, don’t even worry about it! Have a Coke and a smile and shut the fuck up.
When reached for comment, one-time Guns drummer Matt Sorum said, “Where the hell’s my bandana?”
Kevin Cogill is currently seeking donations for his legal defense fund. I kind of want this whole mess to go to trial just on the off chance someone calls Buckethead as a surprise witness. Will the mysterious guitarist be allowed to testify in his full Buckethead regalia, or will Uncle Sam force him to revert to human alter ego Brian Carroll? Will they build a special chicken coop for him in the court room? On the absurdity scale, Buckethead + U.S. Justice System = nine zillion.
On the other hand, Eddie Trunk didn’t get arrested when he played those Chinese Democracy demos Mike Piazza brought to his show in 2000-whenever. Be fair, F.B.I. Go raid Shea Stadium before you throw this Cogill cat in the slammer. Who knows, maybe Billy Wagner has a few copies of The Lilywhite Sessions stashed in his locker. It can’t hurt to look!
Well, now we know what Axl was talking about in “I.R.S.” And I quote:
“Gonna call the president, gonna call myself a private eye/gonna need the I.R.S., gonna get the F.B.I./gonna make this a federal case, gonna win it right down in your face!”
Yesterday, Antiquiet blogger Kevin “Skwerl” Cogill was arrested by F.B.I. agents for alleged violation of federal copyright laws. You see, Cogill is the guy who posted nine very legit-sounding tracks on Antiquiet back in June that were supposedly culled from the long-awaited sixth Guns n’ Roses album Chinese Democracy. The Feds visited Kevin shortly after the songs were posted and he freely admitted to his quote-unquote crime. Why they waited until yesterday to drag him in is anyone’s guess. My theory is Axl Rose is crazy and he ordered the F.B.I. not to move until August because of some lame astrological bullshit.
How long has Axl been in the game now? Three decades? Shouldn’t he be used to people bootlegging his shit? He’s only been working on one of the most anticipated rock albums in history for the past thirteen years. Like everyone isn’t trying to get a piece of that. Calm down, Axl. People are gonna be all up in your Kool-Aid until Chinese Democracy comes out. What’s up with calling Johnny Law anyway? That’s not very rock n’ roll. Stop taking your Scott Weiland-related rage out on poor, defenseless bloggers.
How much you wanna bet the arresting officers are huge old school GNR fans who were like, “Yeah, let’s bag this fucker for Axl!”? How much you wanna bet part of the F.B.I. entrance exam is knowing all the lyrics to “Rocket Queen?” How much you wanna bet I downloaded those nine Chinese Democracy tracks back in June and wrote an epic blog entry about them?
While we’re on the subject of the biggest waste of money since Leonard Part 6, if Chinese Democracy doesn’t come out this year, I think America should file a class action lawsuit against Axl for blocking the distribution of free soft drinks. I want my Dr Pepper, god dammit.