|By JANET MORRISSEY, For The Associated Press
Rock recluse Axl Rose has signed a multimillion dollar publishing deal, and that isn't sitting well with his former Guns N' Roses bandmates.
The deal with music powerhouse Sanctuary Group covers both the back catalogue, which includes hits such as "Sweet Child of Mine," "Paradise City" and "November Rain," as well as Rose's future material, including dozens of new tracks he recently recorded for Universal Music.
After burning up charts and selling out stadiums around the world in the late '80s and early '90s, Guns N' Roses endured a bitter split, leaving only Rose and keyboard player Dizzy Reed to soldier on under the GNR banner. Former members Slash (Saul Hudson) and Duff (Michael) McKagan, now part of the band Velvet Revolver, filed a lawsuit against Rose last year over who controls the rights to the old GNR songs. The suit is still pending.
McKagan's lawyer, Glen Miskel, expressed surprise when told of the Sanctuary deal. He said Rose, Slash and Duff were part of a partnership and "neither Sanctuary nor Axl Rose have provided the remaining partners with a copy of that agreement." He added Rose is trying to transfer copyright interests in songs which "are not owned by Mr. Rose." Guns N' Roses' manager Merck Mercuriadis, who just so happens to be CEO of Sanctuary Group, said he didn't want to comment beyond the announcement of the deal.
Industry experts have valued the 20-year deal at about $19 million. Guess a Guns N' Roses reunion won't be happening anytime soon.