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Re: The Definitive Chinese Democracy Leaks Thread

Manets wrote:

I have been writing this throw the last couple of years with a lot of help from many people. Some parts are from released interviews and articles I did not write, but those will be in italic. The rest was written by me.
I know you guys have Chinese Whispers, which is amazing, but this is a different view, I'm focusing on the leaks, and all that happened behind the curtains.
Do you know any story or detail that is not here? Help to expand this thread and make it the most insightful and detailed thread about Chinese Democracy Leaks avaiable on the internet! PM me with what you know wo we can add you information here as soon as possible!
Thanks eduardo_gnr, darknemus, evader, mistersaintlaurent, Saint Seya, Gunns, Broskirose, bacardimayne, John Bonham and everyone that helped in some way so far.

The Piazza-Trunk Incident

Hidden Text:

On August 30, Eddie Trunk received as a guest on his radio show Friday Night Rocks with Eddie Trunk the baseball star Mike Piazza, who got wit thim a CD  marked "New GNR" with a I.R.S. demo. Mike said he had gotten the CD 3 weeks before, by mail. After Mike insisted, Eddie played the song. Soon, the GNR manager issued a verbal cease-and-desist order. 
"We've gotten hundreds, dare I say thousands, of e-mails since, urging us to play it again," said  program director Bob Buchmann to MTV. "But we can't because the management flipped when they heard it on the air." 
Trunk believes a fan aware of Piazza's love for all things rock sent him the CD-R, which also included the instrumental and complete versions of two other songs. So whoever sent Piazza the disc must have obtained it through the studio, he reasoned. "People who listen to my show know that Mike is a fanatic about this stuff, as much as I am," Trunk said to MTV "They know he's a regular part of the show ... And someone must have thought that this would be a cool way to leak the track"
The GN'R camp was so eager to retrieve the disc that they arranged to meet with Trunk, to whom Piazza had given the CD, as soon as possible. And that just happened to be at Shea Stadium on Sunday, while the Mets were hosting a game with the Atlanta Braves. "Although all traces of the segment were removed from taped broadcasts of the show, it's broadcast live in Minneapolis and Truck says many listeners routinely tape the show, which airs from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. ", yet to MTV.
Taken from here.

The music didn't spread (until the moment), but the info yes: There was new Guns N' Roses music to be heard, and the GNR fans wouldn't stop until the listened them.

The IRS Tape

Hidden Text:

The GNR management thought it was everything ok about I.R.S. being played on the radio on 2003. The incident happened 2 years before and nothing ever come out of this. They were wrong though. MyGNR Forum member darknemus had found a tape: "The Trunk show aired. I heard about it. I started getitng in touch with radio show recorders... people who tape / trade shows.  Finally found someone with the actual show recorded. And then had to go through some major hoops to score a copy. Once the person realized what they had. (NO ONE was recording the show. I think it was memorial day? Or labor day? So most of the regular tapers weren't even around). But I got the recording and threw it online for people.  The timeline is fuzzy as this was a long time ago.", said darknemus.

On April 1st of 2005, darknemus leaked the recording. The Guns N' Roses manager said it was a "low quality demo", but it was actually just a record from the Eddie Trunk show, two years before.

Stripclub Wave

Hidden Text:

On July 2003 Axl went to a stripclub on Las Vegas and gave a copy of the CD for the DJ to play there. Aware that her uncle was a GNR fan, the DJ made a copy of the CD with her equipment, and later gave to her uncle. Her uncle didn't care much, as Guns N' Roses was almost dead on 2004, and the forums were not much used by the time. But on February close to the Hammerstein NYC concerts announcement, her uncle, by the username of "wes" announced that he had the songs There Was A Time, Better and IRS, but didn't know how to upload them. No one cared when he announced it on MyGNR, but Saint Seya decided to investigate: "Wes wanted to share but he didn't know how, so I offered help. He sent me the 3 songs, and I leaked IRS and Better, but kept TWAT for myself", said Saint Seya.

On February, Better was being leaked, piece by piece. First leak had 36 seconds, then a 1:10 leak, and then the full version, by darknemus: "I managed to talk the guy who had the whole thing out of it by convincing him I had rare Axl in the studio clips of him talking to sound guys and stuff (never had anything of the sort) which is what got Better in my grubby paws. Thats when I did the whole Biff Tannen thing, I think. I was posting on mygnr as Biff Tannen to add some spice to the leaking, just for fun, really, not to be a dick or anything as in I went "to the future" to get the track tongue Thats also when Sanctuary took over the hosting for HTGTH's website (another thing Jarmo hates me for telling people about)."

darknemus later leaked Catcher In The Rye. "I am not a fan of taking credit for CITR, actually. You can say that I was 'involved' in it, but not directly responsible. For CITR I was given the file. Not over the phone or anything like that, I was given to me by someone that I can't name. But it was in a very tight knit circle of others before that. People who sent me had the tape but I have no idea where the tape came from. They digitalized and sent me"

Remember that Saint Seya had kept There Was A Time for himself? "I later traded it with darknemus for Catcher In The Rye and asked for him not to leak them, but the next day they were both online."

2000 Intentions Wave

Hidden Text:

On July, uptwonterry, that claimed to be an old GNR engineer, back when they were still recording 2000 Intentions, gave a CD to DJ Razz, from, with the 1999 versions of I.R.S., There Was A Time and 16 econds of Checkmate.
After he got the songs, DJ Razz contacted Merk Mercuriadis, the Guns N' Roses manager at the time, and gave uptownterry's IP in trade of VIP passes for tour concerts.
When asked if there was any song called "Checkmate", Merck said no, so the fans thought it was fake, as fake clips were and still are very common. But Axl confirmed it's a snippet from a song called "Jackie Chan", and drummer Brian Mantia confirmed it's him playing.

But then, the leaks stopped. For a while...

Sorry Lyrics Incident

Hidden Text:

From the topic "The CD release date rumor / speculation thread" at Here Today Gone To Hell, on January 13, 2007, 04:46:42 AM, reply #7510 by the member demolition:
"To all the haters : I'm sorry for you not sorry for me. You don't know who
   you can trust now or who to believe.
Remember these words when the album comes out.
I'm out of here"

Harley-Davidson Incident

Hidden Text:

On February 20 a new version of Better leaked on the internet. Dizzy Reed confirmed that was true in the band's website, and according to him, Harley-Davidson was the source:
“We were doing a commercial with Harley-Davidson. Harley was going to do a version using ‘Paradise City’ and another version using ‘Better.’ Their Web site even had a version up for like one day with ‘Better,’ but the version of ‘Better’ that they had was an unfinished, unapproved demo. That’s why it was removed. The version that’s getting airplay is that same demo.”
Taken from here.
Reed also rejected accusations made by GNR fans that someone from the band's staff was responsible for the leak.

Blame Portugal!

Hidden Text:

Lourenço and Meanbone, the portuguese hoarders. Notice the Chinese Democracy Deluxe cover on the wall.

On March 29th, darknemus managed to get Madagascar with portuguese hoarder Lourenço. Read the chatlog:
darknemus: Hey, if you're around, I am
Lourenco: hey man.
darknemus: Heya/
Lourenco: got your pm
darknemus: How you doing?
Lourenco: I'm at work, so if I take sometime to reply its because of that
Lourenco: good and yo?
Lourenco: you...
darknemus: Its cool - I'm at work, too
darknemus: Excellent.    - so, it seems like you managed to cause quite a stir.
darknemus: On the boards, of course - been there, done that, myself a few times
Lourenco: yeah man! the whole thing went way out of proportion
darknemus: Just to give you some brief background if you don't know.  I'm actually the guy responsible for the original low quality IRS being put into mass circulation.  In addition, I'm also responsible for the high quality IRS & the full version of Better.
Lourenco: I had the intro... people thought it was a fake, and that's one of my weak points... when people say I'm bullashiting
Lourenco: so they asked me to hear Axl's voice, and I cut a 7 sec clip to prove them... it was on for 10 minutes
Lourenco: and well... 45 thread pages later... here we are
darknemus: I'm assuming that the track(s) you have came from the disc that's supposedly been out there since Jan?
Lourenco: no
Lourenco: I got it from somewhere else
darknemus: Cool, cool.
Lourenco: not from a disc
darknemus: I'm not going to ask you to divulge your source(s) obviously... not my style
Lourenco: hey dark... this conversation remains private ok?
darknemus: I want to establish a bit of trust with you here - so, I'm going to tell you something that only about 3 people know...
darknemus: And yes, anything said here stays here
darknemus: I am directly responsible for the CITR leak - that whole German Girl email thing?  it was something a friend and I concocted in order to cause a bit of subtrafuge.
darknemus: I'm serious when I say like 3 people know that.. well now, four, including yourself
Lourenco: cool!
Lourenco: don't worry I'm not a cheater and I won't tell anyone´
darknemus: May I ask what else you have?  to satiate my own curiosity?  I'm seriously curious here.  I know you have CD & The Blues (assuming you were telling the truth on - anything else of interest?
Lourenco: that's been my style since my site came to existence in 1998
darknemus: Very cool.
Lourenco: Ok.. I'll give you one more name and that's it.. .and don't tell anyone
darknemus: I never will
darknemus: Dude, this conversation is you and me, period.
Lourenco: Madagascar kicks some serious ass... all the orchestration....
darknemus: I figured as much - I heard a 25 second snippet of the orchestra stuff like about a month ago on the phone.
darknemus: You've had these for a few weeks, right?
darknemus: (I'm assuming the person I heard maddy from had access to the same source, or sources)
Lourenco: I assure you not...
darknemus: Well I meant it was the same recording.
darknemus: Not the same individuals supplying said tracks
Lourenco: I don't know... probably is the same track
darknemus: Yeah, more than likely.
Lourenco: but it's not from the same persn
darknemus: Its cool, its cool.  I figure they will eventually get out there, regardless... I'm not worried about it.  I think I'm kind of done with the whole leaking thing, myself
darknemus: I mean - don't get me wrong, if you said to me "craig, I want people to hear these, but I don't want to be involved" - then I'd damn well help you.  By the time I was done there'd be so much confusion no one would know which way was up.
darknemus: Thats kind of what happened with CITR - someone trusted me to help, and I did.
darknemus: But first I used it as leverage to get the whole of Better.
darknemus: It was a long process.
darknemus: I'm always looking out for the fan base.. I believe in this band, 100% - and I am certain that any person who's a fan who hears these tracks is that much MORE likely to buy the album and tell their friends.
darknemus: I would never just send a track to someone who was going to take it for granted, you know?
Lourenco: yeah!
Lourenco: but leaking this tracks is like cheating on my source....
darknemus: I understand - and I'm not asking you to do that.
Lourenco: and would mean I would never get anything again
darknemus: The only thing I can tell you about what you have is this - the value is dropping on it daily as the album comes closer to release .. you and I know that
Lourenco: I'm not interested in value or anything like that
Lourenco: or money... that doesn't mean a thing (i mean if someone gave me a million dollars I would reconsider lol!)
Lourenco: but I didn't have a goal when I leaked itr´
Lourenco: it
darknemus: No, I know - but, let me ask you a question.. and you don't have to answer.
darknemus: Have you heard "Sorry" or "Prostitute"?
Lourenco: tell me
Lourenco: I'm not answering that
Lourenco: sorry
darknemus: There's a specific reason why I'm asking
darknemus: Because, if you haven't - and you want to.. I could probably make it happen
darknemus: In fact, with Prostitute I'd say I'm even more certain of that than Sorry.
Lourenco: so you're suggesting a trade?
darknemus: No - I'm simply asking you a question
Lourenco: in caase I don't have them?P
darknemus: True fans don't trade.. we just.. discuss
darknemus: Remember what I told you I had to go through to get the full version of Better.. it wasn't a pretty thing.  Like, it took a few days, but I was persistent and, thankfully, trusted.  It wound up benefitting everybody
darknemus: I ALWAYS have the fan base's best interests at heart
Lourenco: so what are you suggesting?
darknemus: Well I haven't suggested anything yet.. hang on, we'll get to that point  First thing I want to ask you is this.. if the tracks you have got out into a more mass circulation, is your source going to know you did it?
darknemus: My primary goal in anything I do with you is going to be protecting you
darknemus: Trust me, the LAST thing you need is Merck (or his current equivilant) bugging you.
darknemus: I went through that - twice.
darknemus: Even directly to my face in NYC
Lourenco: really?? how was that in NYC? what happened\
Lourenco: yes, if the songs I have leak I'm dead meat
darknemus: Ok - then we're not going to leak them, period.  You need to be protected.  But that's ok.. there might be another way to do this.  Bare with me and I'll think of something.
darknemus: Yeah, Merck and I had a bit of a heated verbal confrontation @ the Hammerstein
darknemus: it was funny
Lourenco: how did he know you were the one?
darknemus: Because I identified myself to him
darknemus: (he and I had spoken on the phone)
darknemus: I was like "Hi, I'm the infamous darknemus   ) - (He referred to me as that on the phone)
darknemus: brb, on sec
Lourenco: ok
darknemus: Ok, back
darknemus: anyway - Merck's a tiny guy.. I'm not. I'm 6'2" about 280.
Lourenco: how did he get a hold of your phone number
darknemus: I called him as per an emailed request from him
darknemus: I probably still have the email, actually.
Lourenco: ohhh
darknemus: Anyway, long story short - he was pissed at me but realized there wasn't much he could do so he kind of let it go.
darknemus: Of course, when I was hanging out with Fernando later on at the afterparty (Fernando, believe it or not, is a friend of mine) - he was just kind of like... "unggh"
darknemus: it was funny
darknemus: Anyway, ok, back to what we were discussing.
darknemus: I can definitely get Prostitute (I've heard a vocal clip of it, and I know its for real) and I can more than likely get Sorry (I haven't heard a clip of it - but the same person isn't going to F me on one but deliver on another.. its the same individual who I got CITR from way back when)
Lourenco: sorry man!
Lourenco: had to shutdown suddenly
Lourenco: so you're friends with Fernando?
Lourenco: how did you get access to the after party
darknemus: via Fernando
darknemus: I've known Fernando for like 4 years
darknemus: Like, his cel phone # is in my phone.. lol
Lourenco: personally or just online?
darknemus: Well just online until we met in NYC
darknemus: but we had spoken like 3 years prior to that
Lourenco: oh ok
Lourenco: what was the thing you said that only 3 people knew about?
darknemus: THe CITR leak
darknemus: As far as me hearing Prostitute, you're the 3rd person who knows that.  Me, my best friend, and now you.
darknemus: So, like, you're in an exclusive club
Lourenco: so before I went offline you said:\
Lourenco: Anyway, ok, back to what we were discussing.
darknemus: you asked me about the thing 3 people knew about
darknemus: I said that would be the CITR leak
darknemus: the fact that i've heard Prostitute would be something exactly 3 people know about, including you.
darknemus: (Well, and the person that has it)
Lourenco: so you heard it on the phone?
darknemus: Yes.. same way I initially heard CITR
Lourenco: and how did you manage to actually GET IT
darknemus: This is a person that I trust implicitly and have known for a while now.
darknemus: via a file transfer to me.
darknemus: He knew I had access to all of Better - so he entrusted me to use CITR to get it.
Lourenco: but this person is in direct contact with the band surely, right?
darknemus: Nope.
Lourenco: maybe even fernando
darknemus: Not Fernando - I would never ask Fernando to compromise himself so that I can be a greedy bastard and listen to music
darknemus: Fernando and I, its kind of funny, we very rarely discuss Guns.
darknemus: We have a lot of other common interests.
Lourenco: paintball etc?
Lourenco: lol
Lourenco: cars
Lourenco: bieks
Lourenco: bikes
darknemus: Well, no, not paintball - tech stuff, gaming, stuff like that.
darknemus: Fernando's a bit of a geek, believe it or not
Lourenco: like counterstrike etc?
Lourenco: I'm a computer guy myself
darknemus: Ok, here's my proposition to you.  I know that i can get Prostitute, I am pretty sure I can get Sorry - all I need is leverage to be able to do so.  Here's the thing, though - we'd have to keep the tracks (any tracks you / I get) between us for the time being so as to not f up our source(s)
darknemus: That means no 7 second clips or 1 minute intro leaks
Lourenco: work...
darknemus: And yes, I do think he plays Counterstrike - I know he's also into MMORPGS - not as much anymore, though.
darknemus: I'm at work, too. Its all good.
darknemus: Actually, I am going to run to lunch with a co-worker here.  Will you be around in an hour or so?
darknemus: I will be back by 1:30 at the latest, my time.
darknemus: Talk to you soon.  Take Care.
Lourenco: i'm here
Lourenco: well talk later
Lourenco has signed out. (3/29/2007 12:51 PM)

"Lourenco sent me Madagascar soon after," said darknemus "Axl's voice was different from how he used to sing it live, which led fans to believe it was fanmade, but Bumblefoot soon confirmed it was real."

Classic Rock Interview With Mister Saint Laurent

"I got into business helping darknemus with Catcher In The Rye. The funny thing is that one or two years later when I started to get music by myself he helped me, although he did not remember that I have helped him with Catcher." said MSL .

"I never met and MSL or anything like that, but we always helped each other. We always contacted the same guys to see if they said the same thing for both of us, and see if they were not lying," said darknemus.

"The ring leader over there was not the guy I got the songs from, but he was the guy trying to sell them to me for $20,000.  He claimed that he had a sister that was dating a band member, I dunno if that's true or not, I just know over the course of this last year, having talked with a lot of people in Spanish speaking countries, and there's a lot of Gnr fans in mexico and Portugal, and brazil.  They all say, as you try to unravel the bullshit, at the end of the day, the leaks begin years ago with the fact that Beta's son, Fernando was friends with guys over in Brazil and was sharing stuff with them figuring they'd never get around, and eventually the guys in portugal got the songs from the guys in Brazil." said MSL
Taken from here

"That was indeed the story told, that Fernando shared the songs with some friends in Brazil. At least for IRS, Better and TWAT, that was the story they always told. I believe it", said darknemus.

"Probably he is not the vilain, he just made the mistake of trusting some friends that years later betrailed him" said MSL

"Well, I think that the newer leaks now that are circulating have nothing to do with that stuff, because as I tried to get more and more leaks over this
last year, I think the South American countries, and Mexico, I don't think they really had much left. So what I started to encounter was very wealthy hoarders here in the US that had bought songs over time, so it was really a whole different ball game, what I was doing this time round as opposed to last year. Who knows how close it gets, or how they get the songs, because they are very very secretive, so if people don't understand them, for every song I get you guys, there's a hundred leads that I went through that turned out to be bullshit, and many many hours wasted dealing with people that turned out to be fake.  But there's no way that to know who's fake and who's real.  So if I have to go through a thousand emails over the course of a month, you never know which email is going to be the right one."
Taken from here


Hidden Text:

In June 2008, Kevin Cogil, better known as Skwerl, on his website leaked nine songs from Chinese Democracy, 6 newer versions of songs already leaked before (Chinese Democracy, IRS, There Was a Time, Madagascar, Street of Dreams [the Blues], and Better) and three new songs (Riad N ' The Bedouins, If The World, the band played as a jam in 2006 and Prostitute that Axl played a few times as an introduction to November Rain in 2006). According to Skwerl, these versions were "mastered, finished", and probably were part of an album version of the Guns N 'Roses delivered to Universal just before the leaks, but he never revealed his source.

Read his very insightful interview with GNR-Syndicate:

The GnR Syndicate: How much did this event consume your life over the last year? Are you glad it’s finally over?
I’m still waiting on some bills to come in, but all told, tens of thousands of dollars. More than I’ve ever possessed, let alone spent, in my entire life. My family is pretty poor; I’m not some trust fund kid. So I had to work my fucking ass off to make it happen. Even after the bulk of the legal fees were taken care of, I continued to work my ass off to make sure that there’d be money in the bank for my girl and kid if the judge decided to throw the ol’ book at me and send me to jail.

I’m not crying about it or asking for sympathy or anything; I saw it as paying the price for what I did. But you asked, and the answer is: a whole shitload of money.

But hey, I’d rather give that money to a lawyer than pay it to RIAA in fines or restitution or as part of some settlement. I’m not saying that out of any kind of hatred for RIAA or anything. I just don’t play that game. I completely respect their right to prosecute me for what I did, and I always admit it when I’ve made a mistake. But I also respect my own right to fight fucking tooth and nail and make them prove everything they claim in a court of law; especially when they make it a criminal case. It’s nothing personal. That’s just how this country’s justice system is supposed to work.

If it’s indeed over, then yeah, I’m thrilled, of course. But we’ll see how things go. While I cooperated, my prosecutors didn’t exactly get what they wanted- my butt in jail, my sources’ names on a silver platter, a big tarred and feathered spectacle to scare the pants off of everyone with a Demonoid account. So who knows? Let’s just say I’m not celebrating anytime soon.

The GnR Syndicate: Besides money, what has this cost you?
Time. This has been a massive project. I had to be ready to go into court at the drop of a hat- more times than the media caught wind of- not to mention countless meetings and phone conferences with a small team we put together; not only to defend the charges, but to really investigate what the prosecution was presenting as the facts. It was on my mind at all times. It was all consuming.

Again, not crying about it or asking for sympathy. You asked, the answer is: A shitload of time.

The GnR Syndicate: Were the authorities interested in where the songs came from, or just that you posted them online? What did they want to know? Did their actions (i.e. providing you with the tracks) result in any adverse consequences? How did they get the songs?

The authorities wanted to know who the source was, but I didn’t know. I had a story, but I didn’t necessarily believe it. We (and whenever I say “we”, I mean my legal team) had to conduct our own investigation to get to the bottom of all of it. This meant that we could question my leads & contacts privately, rather than having the FBI do it and cause a big crazy shit storm. I can’t get into details of who led us where, but we were able to protect my friends’ identities.

The GnR Syndicate: I guess the biggie is: How did you come across these leaks? Was it somebody close to the band?
Ah, the big one. The one I won’t answer just yet. The decision not to talk about this is not an easy one for me to make, but I can say that it is my decision entirely. There’s no secret gag order, and I’m not involved in any sort of ongoing investigation. What I can also say is that we completed our investigation, and figured out exactly where the songs came from, and how they wound up in my hands. I could go public with this information, but for now, I’m saving it for a rainy day.

The GnR Syndicate: What were the events leading up to the arrest? The FBI originally only questioned you, correct?
Yeah, well that’s how it goes. They let you run your mouth for as long as they can get you to while they build a case up. I was kind of naive in the beginning- I knew I was in some trouble, but I guess I figured it couldn’t possibly be that big of a deal to them.

I was working at a company in Ladera heights last year when all of this went down. I came back from lunch one afternoon, and Mulder and Scully were there in the lobby waiting for me. They called my name as soon as the elevator doors opened. They were professional, polite and discreet. I was quoted as calling it “an ambush, ” by some reporter, and that made me laugh- it felt more like a business meeting. (Though I’m sure I’ve described certain business meetings as "ambushes" on occasion, so whatever.)

The three of us went outside where I told them exactly what I did. They wanted to borrow my computer, and make a copy of the hard drive. I didn’t want to have to leave work, so they agreed to come by my apartment in the morning for it- the first of a few visits to my apartment, none of which I would describe as particularly intimidating. They were investigating, and I wasn’t trying to hide what I did.

The GnR Syndicate: The Feds: A little too heavy handed in all this or no? Guns (pardon the pun) were pulled correct? Can you tell us what happened?
Well at the time, my main priority was just keeping my life together- the last thing I wanted was some big scene that would freak out my employer or landlord or anyone that could fuck my shit up if they suddenly saw me as a liability. I wanted things to be over and done with as soon as possible, even if it meant I’d have to put the handcuffs on myself. So there were several times that I told Mulder that if he needed to arrest me, all he’d have to do is call me. I didn’t know the legal terms, but I made it clear that a summons would be more than enough to get me in front of a judge.

At some point it became obvious that an arrest was coming. I had been talking with Mulder regularly, you know, running my mouth like a dumbass. I insisted that my source was anonymous and that I did not know their identity, but I kept breaking down the timeline, the traffic, the crash, how exactly the files were encoded, how they were uploaded, how they were accessed, and all of those technical details. At some point, I asked Mulder a question (I don’t even remember what it was), and he claimed to not be able to discuss something that would be going to a grand jury. Those are two big words, and that’s when I started looking for lawyers.

When I finally found David, the first thing he told me to do was to shut my fucking mouth (of course), and just tell the FBI that I was retaining counsel before going further. He told me that as soon as I did that, things might get ugly that they might get angry. When I told Mulder, he simply said he understood, said good bye, and hung up the phone. He didn’t even have to think about what to do next, which was scary. It didn’t really register- I didn’t walk around the whole rest of the day waiting to be arrested or anything, but it was in my head somewhere, because that night I dreamt about some spooks kicking in my door and hauling me the fuck out. I was awoken from that dream by the feds banging on my front door, yelling, and while that was pretty freaky for a moment, I immediately knew what was going on. When I opened the door, there were five or six (I remember five, my girlfriend counted six) federal agents, all with guns aimed directly at me, except for the one that was handcuffing me. I looked down the hall, and there was my buddy Mulder, with his gun pointed right at me, and all I said to him was that it was “totally unnecessary. ” He didn’t respond, and I didn’t say anything else until I was in court. We weren’t friends anymore.

They drove me downtown to the federal lockup. The place was crawling with U.S. Marshals. There was this insane poster in the little booking area that portrayed some famous crazy U.S. Marshal from the 1860s, with some metal-ass ridiculous nickname like “The Butcher, ” like something out of a movie, with this wild handlebar mustache, and he’s standing on top of a scaffold with a row of nooses. I forget exactly what it said below in hardcore old English text, but the gist was that their job description included enthusiastically killing the shit out of criminals. It was clear that people are sent there to be executed. It was intense.

I was in there with some no-bullshit-motherfuckers. This one dude had pistol whipped a cop (allegedly!) after illegally sneaking back into the country after his fifth deportation. Ironically enough, he was a friendly dude. Same as the local drunk tank, people just love to talk shit and trade stories, to distract themselves from the fact that they’re pretty much totally fucked. I was more scared outside of the cell than in it. That’s reality for you.

Eventually, I met with the judge who had signed the arrest warrant, and right there in the courtroom in front of everyone, he said “I don’t even understand why this wasn’t a summons case, like I recommended. ” He let me go on a signature bond (a friend vouches to keep an eye on you, but pays a massive fine if you skip town), despite the government pushing to keep me locked up.

You know, I gotta admit, one of our posters on Antiquiet raised a good point- I didn’t slip these tracks onto some underground IRC channel in the middle of the night, quietly, anonymously- we did it right in our front yard, with a marching band and cheerleaders, in broad daylight. In a way, the crime was a complete overkill, and so I can’t get too mad about the arrest being a complete overkill. I probably would have done the same exact thing if I were them. Sometimes inappropriate behavior is the best way to make a point.

The GnR Syndicate: How quickly were you notified after putting the songs up, to take them down?
Well one thing a lot of reports- perhaps all of them- have gotten wrong is the fact that the songs were long gone before anyone contacted me. My server crashed from the traffic. The only way I could get my site back up was to remove the songs. They had only been up for about fifteen minutes before that happened, and then maybe an hour after I got the site back up with the songs (and a bunch of features) completely disabled, I started getting calls.

The GnR Syndicate: Who initiated the prosecution? The band? The label? The government?
RIAA did the initial investigation, and packaged the case up for the government.

The GnR Syndicate: The prosecutor wanted jail time, do you feel that this would have been appropriate in a case such as yours?
Well no, of course not. Do you?
Nah, but seriously, even the prosecutor conceded that it wasn’t necessarily appropriate for me on an individual level, but that doing so might deter others from committing more harmful cases of the crime. I knew ahead of time that was the situation I would probably be in. We had put up a great fight, but it would come down to whether or not the judge felt it was time to make an example out of someone. That’s a scary side of justice; sometimes what you deserve isn’t the only factor the court considers when deciding your fate. Luckily, the honorable judge Abrams is a fair dude.

The GnR Syndicate: Do you feel that your actions sabotaged Guns n’ Roses or harmed them in anyway? The record label? The RIAA?
I don’t feel that my actions harmed the band or label in any way whatsoever. The finished version of Chinese Democracy went up for streaming in its entirety on Myspace before the album was released. The label paid money for this. They called it promotion.

The GnR Syndicate: In many ways the RIAA appears to be both the dinosaur as well as comet hurling towards earth. Is dragging people into criminal court for this type of offense going to solve their problem? If not, then what would solve it in your opinion?
I'm going to reserve judgment on RIAA... for now.

The GnR Syndicate: Do you regret what you have done? If so, were you able to convey your apologies to the band through legal counsel or other means?
I don’t regret what I did, but I won’t ever do it again. I’ll let someone else take the next one, and I’ll find another boat to rock. One that isn’t so illegal maybe. As I said the other day, my actions disrespected Axl’s right to control how his work is presented to the world. For that I humbly apologize. But that’s as far as it goes.

The GnR Syndicate: Did anybody from the band ever contact you?
Nope. No one truly authorized to represent the band, besides Axl’s lawyer, who sent a cease & desist.

I’m sure you guys know about Beta’s kid Fernando. He was actually the first to call me, identifying himself as a member of the “Guns n’ Roses camp. ” Like I said, the songs were long gone, but he wanted to know if I was going to put them back up. I told him I would not. He asked where I got them, and I told them that I didn’t know the identity of my source. The cease and desist came via email shortly after.

Apparently the FBI questioned Fernando (before me), and he had given them a very different story. He told them that I said I got the tracks from a source at the record label, and he told them that the songs were still online when he called, suggesting that he had something to do with my taking them down. Initially we thought that he had something to do with the leaks (why else would he make so much shit up to the freaking FBI), but when we investigated, he was a dead end. He’s been responsible for past leaks, but not mine. So I don’t know. He may have been trying to play hero to redeem himself, or he may have mistakenly thought he was somehow responsible. I don’t know.

The GnR Syndicate: What was the mindset behind putting the unreleased tracks up for people to download? What motivated you to do this? Considering the time and money put into the album weren’t you a bit apprehensive?
Honestly, I didn’t think much before doing it. It was automatic. Let me answer those questions along with this one:

The GnR Syndicate: There has always seemed to be a conflicting view in regards to these leaks. Few, if any, of the people I knew were strong enough to refrain from downloading them. On the other hand many of the fansites were vehemently against even discussing them (All while downloading for themselves or actively seeking them out). What kind of feedback were you getting in your mail box? Thanks? Fuck you?
Well that’s two-faced bullshit. If you’re running a fansite, you’ve gotta ask yourself who you’re doing it for. Are you doing it to get closer to the band? Or are you doing it to serve the fans? Johnny Firecloud [Antiquiet co-founder] and I ran a big fansite back in the day for A Perfect Circle. We pissed that band off so much, posting shit we weren’t supposed to, refusing to take said shit down until we got a substantial statement in return for the fans to chew on. But once you start censoring yourself, then you start becoming little more than an extension of the band’s cocktease “official ” site, only you’re not getting paid. You know what? No matter how close you may get to the band, you’re still going to be the fanboy (or girl)... unless you sell drugs too, I guess. The relationship you build with the fans is way more valuable in every single way. They’ll be there for you at the end of the day.

Sometimes you’ve gotta make real tough choices between the band’s wishes and the fans’ wishes, and I’m not saying the fans have to win every time. But sometimes you’ve gotta stand up for them, you know? You’ve gotta say, “Look, this shit is out there, I’m a journalist, it is my job to report this. Take me to court if you have to, but I’ve got rights. ” Or else I’ve gotta wonder why you still bother.

One thing that was really interesting to me was how the feedback I was getting would change with the weather; with each turning point in the story. Initially, everyone was like “Fuck yeah! Thanks! ” But when I did a couple interviews and the FBI got involved, haters came out of the woodwork, and then it was split evenly between “thanks” and “fuck you. ” It fluctuated at various points as the whole thing went up and down, but when someone reported the government’s recommendation that I do jail time, the needle swung so hard in my favor, it broke. It was more comments than ever before, and all but a few were “Fuck RIAA! Fuck the man! Free Skwerl! ” and that kinda shit.

I read the comments and emails and shit, but I never let any of it get to me. These people don’t know shit about me, so how can I take any of it personally? Besides, most of the people ranting about how I’m a scumbag piece of shit asshole don’t even have the story straight, and few of them know the first thing about how the record industry really works these days.

The GnR Syndicate: Were there any donations towards your legal fund?
I hadn’t done the math (accurately), so I’m going to sit down and do it for you now.

Less than 2% of my legal fees came from donations, not including bills I’m still waiting for. It was a few hundred dollars over the past year, most during the first two days of me having a donation button available. Twenty-five people donated, including my girlfriend. Most of the donations were in the ballpark of $5, and a couple people shocked the hell out of me with their generosity. I definitely, sincerely appreciate the support. It meant a lot to me. I’m trying to figure out something really cool I can do for those twenty-five people to let them know how much I appreciate it.

I’m happy to lay this out for you though. Once upon a time I had a site that ran up astronomical hosting bills, yet was home to a really cool, supportive community. I opened the donation jar, and it was pretty much the same deal; I got less than 2% of what I owed the hosting company. So in the end, we got shut down. That was eons ago, but to this day, every once in a while, someone will bring it up, and ask where “all that donation money went” like I’m Bernie fucking Madoff. If there’s ever any backlash with this case, if some troll goes on a tirade someday about how I avoided a costly trial just so I could pocket donated legal fees, or how thousands of pro-piracy communist hippies rallied together to buy my freedom or some shit, you can direct them here.

The GnR Syndicate: So did you finally buy Chinese Democracy? What did you think?
Damn right I did. How could I not? I had been waiting for it longer than I’ve had hair on my balls.

For me the bottom line was that it was a great album, but it had just been cooking too long, plain and simple. When we think back to 2008, we might remember it as the year Chinese Democracy finally came out, but you’re not going to hear it playing during the flashback scenes in movies 20 years from now. It’s going to be fucking Katy Perry, or Linkin Park. Say what you want about their shitty albums, but at least they claimed their moment.

I still listen to it. There are some songs that I like even more now than I did when I wrote the review, like “Sorry. ” That’s a great song, it grew on me big time.

At least two people on my legal team purchased the album, which definitely wouldn’t have otherwise. I’m pretty sure they hated it.

The GnR Syndicate: Many people felt that giving into the temptation of the leaks ultimately tainted the album once they listened to it in its entirety. Did the leaks spoil the final product for you?
Some people are like that. The listening experience is a sacred ritual for them. Some of these people are the same kinda people that have albums they can’t listen to because some girl or boy that broke their heart liked it or got them into it. I was never one of those people. If an album is good, nothing I do or avoid doing is going to change that.

If you’re the type of person that feels the listening experience can be spoiled by leaks... don’t listen to leaks.

The GnR Syndicate: Anything else you’d like to readers to know? Guns n’ Roses?
Yeah, if anyone gets their hands on the new Dr. Dre album, I’d like to check it out.
Taken from here.

Skwerl's Source

Hidden Text:

Skwerl could have got the songs from dozens of places. He had contacts on UMG, for being a former employee, and he was very close to the guys from A Perfect Circle, a band formed during the Guns N' Rose's 2000 Intentions session on 1999. Not only, on A Perfect Circle later toured with Nine Inch Nails, who had in the band former Guns N' Roses members Robin Finck and Chris Vrenna - who joined the band for some sessions on 1997. When Skwerl leaked Chinese Democracy, his website Antiquiet had been up for only 3 months, thus it wasn't famous or even big. Why would anyone chose that specific website to leak such a famous and polemic album? The only reasonable answer would be that Skwerl and his source were friends already, and one of them had close contact with Guns N' Roses. The following was written by downliner at MyGNR Forum:
Please understand that I'm not accusing anyone in particular of being the source of the leaks, simply proving that Skwerl has a long history with numerous people who were directly involved in the making of Chinese Democracy (which actually makes it impossible to pinpoint any one source). Unfortunately a lot of the original source links are dead now, maybe I should have posted this publically all those years ago instead of sitting on it, but some of them can still be seen using the Wayback Machine.

[The band] A Perfect Circle was born out of the "Chinese Democracy" sessions. Billy Howerdel and Josh Freese were cutting tracks for that record when they hooked and decided to do their own project.

A dirty little secret is that Geffen Records actually foot the bill for the recording of "Mer De Noms" because most of the tracks were cut in the same studio as "Chinese Democracy", even though they ultimately signed with Virgin Records for $3 million dollars.
- Source

So, "A Perfect Circle" was founded by Billy Howerdel in 1999, and directly prior to this he spent several years being Axls "computer guy" working in the studio at night (with Axl) on Chinese Democracy (source interview with Billy). Josh Freese, who was also recording/writing for GNR from 1997-1999 left GNR to join Billys new band - he was basically a founding member too (source interview with Josh).

In 1997 Robin Finck was hired as GN'R guitarist, and he quit in 1999 to join NIN on tour. Touring with NIN was, you guessed it, A Perfect Circle.

Kevin Skwerl and Johnny Firecloud (the owners of website) ran a website about "A Perfect Circle" at for ~7 years (see whois info here and here). They followed the band on tour across the country and were known by band members, tour staff, the label etc. Most of the links I had confirming this are now dead, though this photo of Skwerl with Billy still exists:-


Another source still active is Paul Hunters site, who directed a music video for APC and confirms Skwerl interviewed the band in 2000 (See the Sept 18th entry). Two entries from 2004 which are now dead were here (a fans blog entry confirming he'd met Skwerl backstage at an APC gig) and here (Skwerls personal site mentioned him and Johnny going on a roadtrip to follow APC on tour) - These links aren't on Wayback Machine so Im guessing lost forever.

In February 2008 the company Skwerl worked for as website designer interviewed Billy Howerdel (source).

The following month Johnny Firecloud interviewed Billy Howerdel for - see Part 1 and Part 2 (in part 2 they talk about the work on Chinese Democracy).

June 6th 2008 - Johnny Firecloud hints at a Chinese Democracy leak on AntiQuiet (source). 12 days later, 18th June, AntiQuiet leaks the 9 tracks (source). 2 days later and Johnny says on MyGNR we got the songs from a pretty damned direct source, straight rip, and had them to ourselves only as long as it took to upload and post them for others to hear. - (source)

Skwerl confirms his history with the band in (yet another) interview with A Perfect Circle on AntiQuiet here in 2010.

You might think from reading this post that I'm accusing Billy of being the source but I'm genuinely not - from what I've read in interviews Billy has always shown a great appreciation for his time working with Axl. So has Josh Freese.

If Skwerl had close ties to APC, which I think I've proved with all of the sources above, it means the leaks could have come from anyone in that camp.

To further muddy the waters APC had those close ties to Nine Inch Nails - themselves featuring two of the GN'R alumni - Josh Freese and Robin Finck (who had just bailed on GN'R). Chris Vrenna, NIN live drummer up until 1997 also joined GN'R in the studio for a few months in 1997. For all we know it could have been Trent who leaked the tracks online - for years he was very vocal about his unhappiness with Universal and told fans to illegally download and share NIN music so the label wouldn't make money. Maybe this was just another "fuck you" to his former label, leaking one of the most mythical albums of all time. It was curious to see NIN were also featured on the homepage of AntiQuiet just days after the 9 song leak - a kickass video of Trent, Robin et al rehearsing for their upcoming live gigs.

Johnny Firecloud denied that anyone from the NIN camp were involved in the leak - but then he's not likely to admit it if there's any truth to the suggestion.

It could be anyone from either the APC or NIN camp, or it could have been Azoff like the original post suggested, or it could easily just have been some nobody who worked at Universal (and they just happened to choose AntiQuiet to leak it). Skwerl was a Universal employee himself at some point in time working in Universal's NetReach online promotions division so he would have plenty of contacts there too.

The original article has been removed from but its up on the Wayback Machine (and all backed up on my HD now too) .... … antiquiet/

Skwerl: I guess that I’m most well known (on the internet) for being the guy that started Literally, it was just a fansite for the band A Perfect Circle. But to many that were involved with it, from visitors up to contacts at record labels, it was a little bit more than that. We had a reputation for digging a little deeper than your usual artists-ass-kissing fanboys, and we weren’t afraid to piss off the record labels or even the band by giving the fans what they wanted, when they wanted it.

As much fun as I was having with all of it, the band broke up right around the time I went broke, and I had no choice but to move on. So I took a job at Universal Music & Video Distribution, where I made a ton of great contacts, but then left to tour with a shitty punk band that noone cares about. Which I don’t regret.

That again confirms that Skwerls work on his APC site attracted the attention of the band, and that he worked for Universal - something I claimed earlier but only had a dead link for.

Also, if you look at the comments on that archived article Skwerl links to the very first article posted on AntiQuiet - posted only 3 months prior to them leaking Chinese Democracy. AntiQuiet wasn't an established source of news, they would have had a minimal amount of visitors to their site if they'd only been open 12 weeks, so why would anyone choose them to leak Chi Dem?

All just another funny side to the GNR story that we'll probably never be given the true answer to.

Chicken Dinner

Hidden Text:

In August the song Shackler's Revenge was leaked under the name "Chicken Dinner", again by MSL.
"I got Shackler's Revenge with a Chinese Democracy Dot Com mod who I can't remember the name. I can't remember lots of things, but you will probably find out who it is. I know he spoke a lot of shit after the leak. This leak was important to me because it was made in China, and it was my final "Fuck you!" to Guns N' Roses for having broken our previous agreement.", said MSL.

Discover the name of the song was a big problem: "No one knew if it was Shackler's Revenge or not, so Harmonix announced Shackler's Revenge on Rock Band 2, and some people swore that it was Shackler's, some swore it wasn't. There was nothing indicating that it was, and nothing indicating that it wasn't. But people started to call the song Shackler's after Harmonix announced, which is very suspicious. The fact is that some people had a song called Sorry. Well, everyone was convinved that Sorry was out there, but on a trade, when I played my song and he played his, they were the same song!"

Multitracks - Part I

Hidden Text:

On 21st of July MSL leaked parts of the multitracks on the internet: "The funny about those GNR stuff is that I have been involved with so much leaking throw the years, negotiated with so manny people, played so many rolls, that I honestly can't remember many things until some one like you remembers me. Like you, asking me about the multitracks, I had completely forgot about them until you came up with it. What I remember is that a guy came from out of nowhere asking for help. At this point, honestly I have no interest in fooling anyone or dealing with the legal problems that follows the leaks. If a fan contacts me asking for help in a trade, I usually help as long as my name stays out of it. I won't leak what I get, unless the guy starts to be a prick. And well, with the multitrack guy... I usually got him lying and I started to piss off. The mental game related to the trades simply does not interest me anymore. So I told the guy to fuck himself and leaked what he had sent me."

MSL leaked the 14 tracks from Prostitute, the Chinese Democracy vocals and the Catcher In The Rye guitars. "If the guy had been honest with me I would have helped him to get what he was looking for, but when people start playing games, I simply wash my hands and get back to my life. I fight, I have a band, I write poetry. I'm a busy man. I love GNR and I would love to hear more music, but not to extension of my sanity."

Yeah, right... That's MSL side of the story. Now let's find out the truth.
Gunns, from MyGNR and Guns N' FN' Roses was the first to raise interest on the Chinese Democracy Multitracks:
"On Echoingthesound forum, there was a very long thread about the rockband2 encryption/multitracks and thats where people started discussing how to get the isolated stems of the RB2 content/songs. Anyways, I saw the level of interest there and wanting the cd isolated stems/multitracks as well, I started following the thread. I saw on one page, someone initially posted as a throw away comment that we should all start a fund and pay some programmer to do it.
This is what initially sparked the idea for me to do something like this, however do it in a way that would mean not having the actual cash to begin with."

So Gunns created

"I offered 6000.00 (none of which I had nor was going to pay for the multitracks) as an offer/bait to whoever can do it (as you can see I didn't mention gnr,or chinese democracy on the website, just '14 tracks' to be brief and not get to much interest from any potential lawyers.

At first had quiet a few people emailing me, but none of them could prove it or wanted the money up front for the work. However, one person who ran a game development website (he actually used his website email extension in the emails) said he could do it.
I said prove it to me, and after a few emails back and forth, he first sent me the Guitar stem from Catcher In The Rye.
I wanted to see how much I could get for nothing (gotta hand it to msl and his past experience for the idea) and said that's insufficient proof if im going to pay $6000 usd. so the next file that he sent me was the Chinese Democracy acapella/vocal stem, and I said yes that's better proof however It still is insufficient evidence that you can do a whole multitrack.

And then he said ok ill do 1 for proof, and I just chose prostitute and a few days later bam, he sent prostitute as an email attachment.
This was all I got from him (apart from a few nasty emails when he realised I wasn't paying the money).
I, and a few other gnr forum members wanted to see what we could get for that and how far we could go, so we sent the tracks to msl. He made a few videos about being in possession of them, and one of his friends featured int he video playing around with the prostitute multi in audacity.
He never got any real offers or proof of anything as I think he wasn't comfortable calling people back in case they asked for the vocal or guitar track from X song.
Msl said if im going to get anything in a possible trade, I need the rest of the gnr multitracks, which I obviously didn't have and just fed him bullshit about how we got it from a Harmonix (rockband) employee and his job was on the line etc.

Fast forward a few days, and msl made a video about how he was sick/headache/stressed and was no longer interested in the gnr games, so he leaked the prostitute, Cd vocal and Catcher guitar on the forums.

About 6 or so months later, there was a forum that figured out how to get access to the isolated tracks, and I donated a small amount of money to the guy doing the isolation method in order to get the chinese democracy songs pushed up to the top of his 'to do list' (the forums members didn't like Cd or 'new gnr' at all and wanted other bands stems first, so once again, money talks). And then bam!, I got the .wav files straight from the source, cause I donated cash, and everyone else were given the .mogg tracks in the tight community. I didn't leak them to the gnr community as there was speculation and paranoia from the forum members that if any multitracks were leaked from Rockband2, that Harmonix would once again change their encryption of the songs and it would potentially risk losing the chance to get access to the tracks in the Rockband3 release.

Maybe 3-7 days after they were posted in the private forum, they were starting to leak on the gnr forums and the moderators had a field day.
so in short, Msl leaked 3 files, 1 prostitute .mogg, 1 catcher guitar stem, and 1 Chinese Democracy vocal stem,
and a few other guys who had access to the private forum or knew someone who did, sold the tracks to others and then leaked them. "

Thanks Gunns for all the help.

Multitracks - Part II

Hidden Text:

It was between may 8 and 30 of 2010 when Eduardo contacted Sr. Gerardo Avila, some mexican non-GN´R related person who somehow managed to get several multitracks files of the heavily encrypted Rock Band 2 songs, that no one had been able to decrypt for a very long time. After 2 weeks exchanging dozens of e-mails, Eduardo and the mexican man accorded a price for Guns N' Roses files, which  once in Eduardo's hands, it wouldn't be available for general public until some weeks later, due to his tireless efforts of getting some extra worth material off of them. This effort was in vain, because many samples of the multitracks were leaked during June, and the full leakage was imminent, so they lost "trading value" and portuguese hoarders prefered not to risk.

Despite having made some hundreds dollars off of the multitracks, Eduardo and his fellow Jarrett-aka bacardimayne-could not get what they really were after: brand new unheard songs. Such money was spent in purchasing iclips accounts for random GNR fans last december, as Jarrett and Eduardo did never intend to make any profit of GN'R.

Alternative Artwork - Part I

Hidden Text:

When Chinese Democracy was added to the BestBuy website for pre-sale there were 3 different covers avaiable. Cover Aa, Cover Bb and Cover Cc. After a while, there was only Cover Aa left there, and the other covers were not released. What was not known at the time is that not only the covers were different, but also the booklet. It was later found out that Cover Aa was the Bicycle cover, Cover Bb the Red Hand cover and Cover Cc the How Are You Grenade cover, described by Axl Rose as his favorite one.

Axl Rose about the alternative artwork, from the Dexter Chats:

There are 2 more covers/bk cover combos and the real booklet that is all artwork that will be out shortly in some form. It's been an ugly battle that hasn't made any sense to anyone and whether anyone cares about such things the booklet or artwork has always been something I've been passionate about and to release the album with unapproved and unseen final artwork with a !st work only error filled draft when others more recent were readily available still has not been explained but is finally getting cleared up. My fave is the How Are You Grenade cover.

What I look forward to is incorporating the new artwork into our merch and getting some for myself. I think u'll like a lot of it. My vote's for the How Are You grenade and the Sorry automatic rifle artwork on shirts etc.

As the different versions were supposed to be released, some were actually print, and some people around the world have them. But by that time, there were no high quality pictures of the artwork, just a few on that line:


Hidden Text:

[media] …[/media]
On January 26, MSL published a video on YouTube where he shows a PowerPoint file showing privileged information about Guns N' Roses.
On the video, among hundreds of confidential information he claims to have, he says that 2011 will be a very busy year to Guns N' Roses, and that it will all start on February. MSL says that if there isn't an announcement on that date, he'll make the announcement himself,
MSL also mentions a bunch of Guns N' Roses unreleased song titles, as ‘Atlas’, ‘Cuban Skies’, ‘Jackie Chan’, ‘Going Down’, ‘Light My Fire’, ‘Silkworms’, ‘The General’, ‘The Monster’, ‘Time’, ‘Soul Monster’, ‘Tonto’, which are supposed to be on a chinese server.

At first, the video was unreadable, but members of the forums managed to read parts of what was written, and the following was discovered:

-The magazine CREEM will be back to promote the US Chinese Democracy Tour, and Axl would be on the cover of the 1st re-issue.

-Chinese Democracy will be re-released on the US.

-The name "Led Zeppelin" is clearly on one of the slides, but no one knows why.

A few hours later, darknemus, once MSL partner logged into MyGNR Forum to warn the fans about MSL's actual intentions. According to darknemus, MSL came to him on January 20 asking what to do with the received material, once that, taking a look at the little leaked so far, the content was explosive and maybe dangerous to GNR. According to darknemus, MSL wanted to make money out of what he had, what pissed him off. Darknemus made a quick investigation and found out that:

-Someone in Europe hacked Beta Lebeis personal email, apart from 2 or 3 emails associated to her, and the PowerPoint came from one of that accounts.

- There's a Better Remix called Better Gone, not included in Chinese Democracy.

- The GNR members are payed very poorly, even for current band standarts.

- DJ Ashba makes a lot more of money than anyone else, what makes Bumblefoot jealous.

- Buckethead had his royalties on Chinese Democracy reduced to 0,25%, because he refused to promote it.

It was reported by Stevie Rachelle, Metal Sludge CEO and Tuff singer that Classic Rock offered MSL 60,000 dollars to have the whole material, but nothing came out of it.
As the band didn't do anything, MSL published the following on February 2:
On December 16, Guns N' Roses took the stage in Abu Dhabi to cap off the most recent leg of the never-ending Chinese Democracy World Tour.

On December 15, Guns N' Roses manager Doc McGhee was informed by members of the band that Tommy Stinson did not intend to take the stage.

And now, on February 2, those same band members find themselves uninformed, unpaid and searching for the same answers as the rabid GNR fanbase . . .

What is next for Guns N' Roses?

Answering that question is nearly impossible and Doc McGhee is just the latest in a long line of managers learning first hand that no matter what you have planned, at any point, W. Axl Rose may take his ball and go home.

While McGhee refused to comment for this story, documents recently received by reveal a very thorough and dedicated plan to re-market Chinese Democracy in the US later this year.

A full North American arena tour and Best Buy exclusive reissue of Chinese Democracy would both launch on March 29. The tour would run through May 17 and hit 30 markets, including NY, LA, Vegas, Ft. Lauderdale, Boston, Detroit, Toronto, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Tampa, Philly, DC, Denver, San Jose, Calgary, Winnipeg, Omaha and Houston.

The album reissue would contain new artwork and a second disc containing bonus material. In addition to remixes of tracks from the album, the bonus disc would contain a new song 'Blood In The Water' as well as a new version of 'Better' featuring DJ Ashba, which would serve as the radio single for the reissue.

All of this would be announced February 7, with a secret show the day before the Super Bowl (February 5) at The Lodge in Dallas. Yet, it's February 2 and those in the GNR camp that were willing to speak to insist they have not received any airfare or itinerary.

While nobody would dispute that a very disappointed Axl Rose has holed himself up at home once again, most agreed he was justifiably upset.

"When we got back to the states, we expected Doc to have a US tour ready for us," said one member of Guns N' Roses that spoke with "When we found out things were still up in the air, everyone was deflated, but Axl took the news the worst," he continued.

But why is Doc McGhee having so much trouble finalizing a North American tour? Multiple sponsors have already signed on, including John Varvatos, Bloomingdales and Deleon Tequila. Companies such as Monster Energy and Harley-Davidson have had discussions with GNR as well about sponsoring a tour.

The answer may very well lie with Axl's previous manager, the mega powerful Irving Azoff. With Azoff controlling everything from venues to ticketing, many have accused Azoff of interfering with Doc's plan of attack for 2011.

So with the tour appearing to be off, where does that leave things with Best Buy? Although Best Buy had been burned by the first release of Chinese Democracy, they've pledged major funds to help market a reissue. Will they continue to be so supportive when clearly it is impossible for Guns N' Roses to reliably stick to any sort of plan.

And if and when the band returns, who will be playing bass? It wasn't that long ago that Duff McKagan appeared on stage with the band, a move that shocked fans throughout the world.

But what wasn't publicly known at the time was that for years there have been internal discussions about canning Stinson due to problems with alcohol as well as his treatment of staff and crew. What role this played in Stinson threatening to not take the stage in Abu Dhabi is not known, but what is known is that as far back as 2008, Axl and other members of the band had many discussions about the pros and cons of a Duff return, a return Duff has privately expressed interest in repeatedly behind closed doors.

So what is next for Guns N' Roses? Unfortunately, not even Guns N' Roses itself knows the answer to that question.

But rest assured, this story is far from over.
Taken from here.

Then, on February 05, Axl Rose replied throw his Twitter:
Contrary to anyone's claims there are no concrete plans nor were there ever for a tour, a relaunch or sponsors (n' certainly not to replace anyone in the band) beyond a collection of random ideas thrown out by various individuals w/out any real foundation or negotiations in place other than our prior involvements (which wouldn't take a rocket scientist to put together). And 4 the record Doc McGhee is no longer involved w/either myself or GN'R.
Taken from here.

On February 09th, Metal Sludge published an Axl Rose Enemy List, that they got with MSL:

Axl's official enemy list. Accurate as of Janaury 24, 2008. Sent by Fernando to Axl and then from Axl to Beta. Didn't see this until tonight. Still making my way through all the files. Disturbing.

Alan Niven
Tom Zutaut
Mike Clink
David Geffen
Bryn Bridenthal
Arlette Vereeke
Doug Goldstein
Peter Paterno
Lee Phillips
Eddie Rosenblatt
Jimmy Iovine
Bert Diexler
Charles Sussman
Michael Oppenheim
Ken Hertz
Merck Mercuriadis
Howard Weitzman
Adam Day
Robert John
Gene Kirkland
Marc Canter

On February 14th, the biggest bomb of this Blackmail incident, the 101 documents:

Metal Sludge has compiled (received) a list (thru sources) of everything that is alleged to be on the 'memory stick' that Mister Saint Laurent has claimed to be in possesion of.

Metal Sludge along with Mister Saint Laurent were first to report that Doc McGhee was soon to be "no longer/fired" involved with the Guns N' Roses camp. Only to have Axl Rose himself confirm that "Doc is gone" via his official Twitter days later.

Speaking of Axl & Twitter. He tweeted"Happy Vday!!" earlier today. Such a sweetie.

From our estimation, this is a mother load of 'you name it' regarding Guns N' Roses and all things related for the last decade. This list puts the recently posted and alleged "enemy list" to shame. Is this a random list of nonsense or not? You decide.

001. Sheng Tang Music Festival PDF

002. DJ Ashba's contract

003. June 2010 Axl email dissolving GNR

004. December 2009 Axl email dissolving GNR

005. Doc's 2011 plan powerpoint

006. Better_Gone.mp3

007. January 2010 Caram Castanzo email about bonus tracks

008. November 2010 Axl email bitching about Bumblefoot

009. January 2011 email about cutting everyone's pay (part 1)

010. January 2011 email about cutting everyone's pay (part 2)

011. Chinese Democracy band member payments and recoupment

012. Chinese Democracy band producer charts

013. January 2010 Axl email complaining about Dr. Dre

014. October 2009 Axl email to Bumblefoot about Duff rejoining

015. December 2009 Brain email submitting Better remix to Fernando

016. Better video treatment v1

017. Chinese Democracy World Tour Income & Expenses

018. 2009 Band Rehearsal Expenses

019. Tour Income & Expense Summary Production rehearsals (11/09)

020. Chinese Democracy video treatmeant

021. 2010 Europe Leg #2 Budget Summary

022. Geffen Records contract for Second Album (January 2007)

023. Street of Dreams video treatment

024. January 2009 email discussing possible replacements for Robin

025. January 2010 email discussing new versions of Knockin' on Heaven's Door

026. January 2011 Caram Castanzo email complaining about back pay

027. July 2010 email outlining 2011 tour plans, including co-headliners

028. Better video treatment v2

029. June 2010 Caram Castanzo email about bonus tracks & second album

030. Robin Finck Resignation Letter (part 1)

031. Robin Finck Resignation Letter (part 2)

032. Robin Finck Resignation Letter (part 3)

033. July 2008 Axl letter to Robin about leaks

034. September 2008 Axl email about Slash, reunion, old members, etc. (part 1)

035. September 2008 Axl email about Slash, reunion, old members, etc. (part 2)

036. September 2008 Axl email about Slash, reunion, old members, etc. (part 3)

037. September 2008 Axl email about Slash, reunion, old members, etc. (part 4)

038. September 2008 Axl email about Slash, reunion, old members, etc. (part 5)

039. September 2008 Axl email about Slash, reunion, old members, etc. (part 6)

040. September 2008 Axl email about Slash, reunion, old members, etc. (part 7)

041. September 2008 Axl email about Slash, reunion, old members, etc. (part 8)

042. September 2008 Axl email about Slash, reunion, old members, etc. (part 9)

043. September 2008 Axl email about Slash, reunion, old members, etc. (part 10)

044. September 2008 Axl email about Slash, reunion, old members, etc. (part 11)

045. September 2008 Axl email about Slash, reunion, old members, etc. (part 12)

046. September 2008 Axl email about Slash, reunion, old members, etc. (part 13)

047. January 2008 Shanghai and Beijing festival offers

048. January 2008 Axl email about how many albums to release (part 1)

049. January 2008 Axl email about how many albums to release (part 2)

050. February 2007 lawsuit threat from fan hit with mic (part 1)

051. February 2007 lawsuit threat from fan hit with mic (part 2)

052. December 2006 letter threatening to sue Zakk Wylde

053. December 2005 Slash email threatening photographer

054. April 2006 Axl Rose tour rider

055. November 2009 Axl Rose letter to Irving Azoff about Beta, reunion, etc (part 1)

056. November 2009 Axl Rose letter to Irving Azoff about Beta, reunion, etc (part 2)

057. November 2009 Axl Rose letter to Irving Azoff about Beta, reunion, etc (part 3)

058. November 2009 Axl Rose letter to Irving Azoff about Beta, reunion, etc (part 4)

059. November 2009 Axl Rose letter to Irving Azoff about Beta, reunion, etc (part 5)

060. November 2009 Axl Rose letter to Irving Azoff about Beta, reunion, etc (part 6)

061. November 2009 Axl Rose letter to Irving Azoff about Beta, reunion, etc (part 7)

062. November 2009 Axl Rose letter to Irving Azoff about Beta, reunion, etc (part 8)

063. June 2008 Beta letter about who deserves credit for Sweet Child O' Mine (part 1)

064. June 2008 Beta letter about who deserves credit for Sweet Child O' Mine (part 2)

065. June 2008 Brain email about which producers deserve credit

066. June 2008 Axl email complaining about Tommy siding with Roy over Caram

067. June 2008 Dizzy email about which producers deserve credit (part 1)

068. June 2008 Dizzy email about which producers deserve credit (part 2)

069. June 2008 Dizzy email about which producers deserve credit (part 3)

070. January 2008 Fernando email listing Axl enemies / Slash allies

071. January 2008 Sebastian Bach email about entering rehab

072. February 2010 Axl email making NY plans

073. October 2004 Beta email to Merck about how to trick Axl, Slash lawsuit, etc (part 1)

074. October 2004 Beta email to Merck about how to trick Axl, Slash lawsuit, etc (part 2)

075. October 2009 Axl email about Duff wanting back in and people wanting Tommy out (part 1)

076. October 2009 Axl email about Duff wanting back in and people wanting Tommy out (part 2)

077. October 2009 Axl email about Duff wanting back in and people wanting Tommy out (part 3)

078. October 2009 Beta/Dizzy conversation about everyone wanting Tommy out

079. December 2008 Axl letter about why he's always late (part 1)

080. December 2008 Axl letter about why he's always late (part 2)

081. December 2008 Axl letter about why he's always late (part 3)

082. February 2007 Unpaid studio and producer invoices

083. March 2009 email outlining the tour dates with Van Halen

084. March 2006 Band and crew rehearsal payroll

085. August 2009 Dizzy email begging for update from Beta

086. February 2010 Financial guarantees for each European festival in May (part 1)

087. February 2010 Financial guarantees for each European festival in May (part 2)

088. May 2010 unpublished Axl tweet giving his side of the story re: Azoff (part 1)

089. May 2010 unpublished Axl tweet giving his side of the story re: Azoff (part 2)

090. May 2010 unpublished Axl tweet giving his side of the story re: Azoff (part 3)

091. April 2010 Income and Expense summaries Asia/Canada/South America (part 1)

092. April 2010 Income and Expense summaries Asia/Canada/South America (part 2)

093. April 2010 Income and Expense summaries Asia/Canada/South America (part 3)

094. April 2010 DJ Ashba email to Doc about Axl wanting to fire DJ

095. April 2010 Axl email dissolving GNR and insisting DJ Ashba be sued

096. January 2008 Axl letter about his feelings on Velvet Revolver (part 1)

097. January 2008 Axl letter about his feelings on Velvet Revolver (part 2)

098. January 2008 Axl letter detailing his uncensored thoughts on Slash

099. January 2008 Axl email about which songs should be on second album

100. "The Honor of Thieves 2" - Axl book about the break-up of GNR

101. December 2010 Doc email about Tommy refusing to play in Abu Dhabi

For now, we don't have these alleged documents, but our source seems to be spot on with other leaks. Who knows? Rumor from these resources claim that multiple news outlets and related GnR parties, legal and otherwise are hot on the tip to keep a lid on the real contents of this alleged memory stick.

Shit is about to get flung fast and furious like a microphone stand on stage!

Stay tuned...

Metal Sludge
Live Like a Sludgeacide

There was nothing further regarding the Blackmail.
Out of nowhere, MSL stopped what he was doing, what led the fans to believe that he finally got to (another) agreement with Guns N' Roses, which he apparentely broke again by letting Better Gone leak the next year.

Alternative Artwork - Part II

Hidden Text:

From time to time an alterntive artwork copy is sold on an auction site like ebay or even the swedish Tradera, where a Red Hand copy was actually sold. Some people also fond a copy on a random music shop on their hometowns.
Interestingly, it took almost 2 years for the Red Hand cover booklet to fully leak. The first person to leak high quality pictures of a big part of the booklet was Evan442, from MyGNR, but not everything:

Just picked up the Red Hand cover at a used record store in LA today...for $5! Totally shocked to see it. The new artwork is both cool and weird. There's an alien rape painting for Shackler's Revenge. Still like the bike cover and the pics of the band in the original release...but it's cool to have the correct lyrics and a few additional liner notes from Axl.

What's interesting is that the back says Copyright 2008-2009

Evan 442 leaked one of the Rifle pictures, the CD back, the actual CD picture, the cover, the Axl letter (Fear N' Freedom: The Future Of China And Western Society) and the artwork for the following songs: Chinese Democracy, Shackler's Revenge, Street Of Dreams, If The World, There Was A Time, Catcher In The Rye, Scraped, Riad N' The Bedouins, Sorry, IRS, This I Love and Prostitute.

Later, Russ from GNR-Evolution and Here Today Gone To Hell leaked high quality pictures of the Red Hand booklet, including unseen images as the Better page, Madagascar page and the Thanks page.

Around August pictures supposed to be from the How Are You Grenade started to leak, but they were fake. The fake booklet used images of paintings only painted after the Chinese Democracy, as the dancing skeletons painted by Sandy Yagi used on the Sorry page.

Interestingly, after 3 years since the Chinese Democracy release and more than an year since the full Red Hand booklet cover leaked, there haven't been found absolutely no actual copy of the How Are You Grenade cover.

Read the Guns N' FN' Roses Chinese Democracy Alternative Artwork Discussion Thread!

The Chinese Democracy Remixes - Better Gone and Blood In The Water

Hidden Text:

On late 2011 mr. soulmonster found on his hometown two copies of the How Are You Grenade Cover version of Chinese Democracy. One, he kept for himself, the other one he offered to MSL in trade of something. MSL offered him Better Gone, the 6th item of this list.
Better Gone is an acoustic-hip hop version of Better remixed by Brian 'Brain' Mantia, former Guns N' Roses drummer who confirmed on several interviews to be working on remixes for Axl Rose.
MSL had some kind of agreement with Guns N' Roses in which he couldn't leak any of the items on that list, one of the main reasons he never admits his envolvement with the Better Gone leak. Actually, up to date he refused to say any word on it, but has given hints that he was somehow involved, for example:
"The grenade CD was real. There are only 2 known copies in the world. Both copies are different (they are different drafts of the grenade booklet). I don't have the grenade CD anymore. I sold it for $5,000.", which he posted on his own website.
mr. soulmonster didn't leak Better Gone. He sent to a person, who sent to another and as it goes the song ended up being leaked, after a few months of internal sharing between a small circle. Brain confirmed to both mr. soulmonster and the laker the legitimacy of the song.

A few months later, a snippet of Blood In The Water was leaked. The instrumental is clearly taken from Prostitute, but the vocals are brand new. Question is: Is Blood In The Water a mash-up remix of Prostitute and some other song called Blood In The Water - where the vocals would have been taken from - or just a Blood In The Water remix with some Prostitute tracks?

The Better Video

Hidden Text:

[youtube] … dTNsqLFMqI[/youtube]On September 13th of 2012 someone posted on mygnr a link to a directory folder on the BakedFX website that contained the Better Video and some small clips taken from it. BakedFX was responsible for adding the red men on the video. They said that at a certain point of the work, everything was simply shut down and cancelled. Their link was


Hidden Text:

We'll see... But I quote Kevin 'Skwerl' Cogil: "f you’re running a fansite, you’ve gotta ask yourself who you’re doing it for. Are you doing it to get closer to the band? Or are you doing it to serve the fans? Johnny Firecloud [Antiquiet co-founder] and I ran a big fansite back in the day for A Perfect Circle. We pissed that band off so much, posting shit we weren’t supposed to, refusing to take said shit down until we got a substantial statement in return for the fans to chew on. But once you start censoring yourself, then you start becoming little more than an extension of the band’s cocktease “official ” site, only you’re not getting paid. You know what? No matter how close you may get to the band, you’re still going to be the fanboy (or girl)... unless you sell drugs too, I guess. The relationship you build with the fans is way more valuable in every single way. They’ll be there for you at the end of the day."

 Rep: 9 

Re: The Definitive Chinese Democracy Leaks Thread

Manets wrote:

I'll fix the links on the "Skwerls's Source" part as soon as possible.

 Rep: 37 

Re: The Definitive Chinese Democracy Leaks Thread

-Jack- wrote:

Wish so badly that those emails got leaked -____- tongue

 Rep: 32 

Re: The Definitive Chinese Democracy Leaks Thread

Scabbie wrote:

The leaks were much more exciting than the album release.

I'm not sure a leak would have the same Impact in 2013.

 Rep: 473 

Re: The Definitive Chinese Democracy Leaks Thread

misterID wrote:
Scabbie wrote:

The leaks were much more exciting than the album release.

I'm not sure a leak would have the same Impact in 2013.

The same impact, probably not, but it would make a huge impact. Still, whenever there's a rumored leak, or a snippet of a leak, the boards still get huge rush of lurkers and activity. Another leak is exactly what is needed at the moment, IMO. cool

 Rep: 207 

Re: The Definitive Chinese Democracy Leaks Thread

DCK wrote:

Where's Checkmate and Blood in the water? Or did I just miss that part.

 Rep: 81 

Re: The Definitive Chinese Democracy Leaks Thread

otto wrote:

Checkmate is that 30 seconds in a loop (that sums to up to 1 minute and a half) of "all cautions made, every chance was given, no efforts spared to save what we had"...

Blood In The Water is the most recent, that has the orchestration of Prostitute with some new vocals by Axl singing "blood in the water, (there will be) blood in the water" with a hip-hop beat.

 Rep: 81 

Re: The Definitive Chinese Democracy Leaks Thread

otto wrote:

Blood in The Water:


 Rep: 37 

Re: The Definitive Chinese Democracy Leaks Thread

-Jack- wrote:

Glad I checked out this thread because I had never listened to Better Gone... very... interesting track... 0:)

 Rep: 32 

Re: The Definitive Chinese Democracy Leaks Thread

Scabbie wrote:
misterID wrote:
Scabbie wrote:

The leaks were much more exciting than the album release.

I'm not sure a leak would have the same Impact in 2013.

The same impact, probably not, but it would make a huge impact. Still, whenever there's a rumored leak, or a snippet of a leak, the boards still get huge rush of lurkers and activity. Another leak is exactly what is needed at the moment, IMO. cool

Does anyone genuinely believe there are more songs out there to be leaked?

If there are I'm shocked they haven't already found there way online. I can't believe people are holding them back to 'trade'.

I don't believe the track list for CD was decided until late on - if tracks were shared with people who knew the band or Lebeis, I'm surprised more ' off cuts ' weren't leaked.

As a side note, Anyone else been following the banter between halo69 and jarmo at HTGTH? please god don't let that guy sign up here. He started with a couple of valid points but now looks like a complete idiot.

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