Axl Rose has responded to the band’s traditional toss of the microphone into the audience at the end of their show after an audience member claimed she was injured at a recent Guns N’ Roses show in Australia.
Rose, who typically throws the microphone into the audience after the band’s encore of “Paradise City,” reportedly struck concertgoer Rebecca Howe during their Nov. 29 show in Adelaide, Australia, which left her with two black eyes and cuts on her face.
“He took a bow and then he launched the microphone out to the crowd and then bang, right on the bridge of my nose,” Howe told an Adelaide newspaper. “My mind went, ‘Oh my God, my face is caved in.’”
Howe added, “What if it was a couple of inches to the right or left? I could have lost an eye. What if it hit me in the mouth and I broke my teeth? If my head was turned and it hit me in the temple, it could have killed me.”
Rose, who is currently wrapping up a worldwide tour with Guns N’ Roses with remaining dates in Australia and New Zealand, addressed the situation in a lengthy Twitter post and said he will refrain from throwing the mic into the audience moving ahead.
“It’s come to my attention that a fan may have been hurt at our show in Adelaide, Australia, possibly being hit by the microphone at the end of the show when I traditionally toss the mic to the fans,” wrote Rose. “If true, obviously we don’t want anyone getting hurt or to somehow in any way hurt anyone at our shows anywhere.”
He added that his mic toss is a “known part” of the band’s show and something they’ve been doing for more than 30 years.
“Having tossed the mic at the end of [our] show for over 30 years, we always felt it was a known part of the very end of [our] performance that fans wanted and were aware of to have an opportunity to catch the mic,” added Rose. “Regardless, in the interest of public safety, from now on we’ll refrain from tossing the mic or anything to the fans during or at [our] performances.
In 2013, another Australian fan claimed to be injured by Rose’s microphone throw during a show in Perth, which resulted in damage to two of his front teeth and $5,000 (AUD) in dental fees.
Photo: Amy Sussman / Getty Images for Stagecoach