Countdown begins for Guns N’ Roses' Chinese Democracy

Guns N´ Roses hit the road tomorrow (24 October) for their latest US tour. The Chinese Democracy Tour. And rumours are once again hotting up that the album of the same name, at least nine years in the making, is finally on its way…

In the current issue of Rolling Stone magazine, writer Brian Hiatt begins a feature on the elusive Chinese Democracy with a quote from GN'R manager Merck Mercuriadis, "The album will come out this year. There are ten Tuesdays left before January - it will come out on one of them.”

Fans have also pointed out that Better - one of the songs mooted for the album and leaked earlier in 2006 - is now planned to feature on a Harley Davidson TV ad. Well, that's what HD claim anyway. And optimists have even been pointing out that GN´R´s myspace page has recently had an overhaul. Like, meaningful, dude! But is the album really ready?

• What we do know!
Guitar players on the album could include:
- Robin Finck
- Paul Tobias (aka Paul Huge)
- Buckethead
- Dave Navarro
- Gary Sunshine (Axl Rose's guitar teacher)
- Richard Fortus
- Zakk Wylde
- Bumblefoot
- Brian May
- and Axl Rose himself.

Songs might include: Better, IRS, Sorry, Catcher In The Rye, Madagascar, The Blues and There Was A Time.

Veteran engineer Andy Wallace (Nirvana, Slayer) is now reported to be mixing some/all of the album.

• What we don´t know!
Erm, everything else. Like when Chinese Democracy is actually coming out. If it IS coming out.

It´s going to be an interesting few months, for sure. With a rumoured cost of over $13million dollars, Chinese Democracy must be the most expensive album ever recorded. Yet it´s been so long in the making, there has to be a question whether there´s still a substantial GN'R fanbase even waiting for it?

Is anyone out there actually expecting us to see Chinese Democracy released this side of New Year? And if so, is it with anticipation or dread...?