Guns N’ Roses Debut Unreleased Song “The General” at Their L.A. Show Thursday

Guns N’ Roses chose the final U.S. show of their current U.S. tour, held at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Thursday, November 2, to treat fans to the debut live performance of their song “The General.”

Videos by American Songwriter

According to multiple sources, the unreleased song was recorded during the sessions for Guns N’ Roses’ most recent studio album, Chinese Democracy (2008), and is supposed to be issued on December 8 as part of a vinyl single also featuring the band’s recently released song “Perhaps.”

[RELATED: Guns N’ Roses to Play Hollywood Bowl for the First in November, with Openers The Black Keys]

As seen in a fan-shot YouTube video, GN’R frontman Axl Rose introduced the debut performance of “The General” by saying, “We’re gonna try a new song I haven’t sang since this tour started somewhere this spring. So this could be very interesting. If there’s ever a better place to fall on your face, I think this fucking counts.”

The ominous-sounding, minor-key power ballad starts quietly with eerie keyboard accompaniment, then builds in intensity during choruses, ending with a shrieking solo from Slash.

According to Rolling Stone, fans first heard reports about “The General” in 2007, before Chinese Democracy’s release. Ex-Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach talked glowingly about the tune in an interview that year with Metal Edge, calling it “by far the heaviest metal tune I think I’ve ever heard Axl do,” adding that it featured a “slow, grinding riff with these high, piercing vocals.” Bach also noted that Rose told him he didn’t plan to release “The General” until 2012.

Although Guns N’ Roses hasn’t released another studio album since Chinese Democracy, they have put out a few new singles over the last few years—“Absurd” and “Hard Skool” in 2021, and the aforementioned “Perhaps” this year—all of which date back to the Chinese Democracy sessions.

Thursday’s concert was the second of two consecutive shows that Guns N’ Roses played at the Hollywood Bowl with opening act The Black Keys. GN’R also performed a version of “Speak Softly Love,” the theme from The Godfather, during the November 2 event, marking the first time the band has played that tune in concert since 2019, according to

Guns N’ Roses finish their 2023 tour itinerary this Sunday, November 5, with a show in Mexico City.

Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

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