“I had the same punk-rock attack that Duff had. I wouldn’t be afraid to say I stole some of his stuff”: How Tommy Stinson survived the making of Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy

Singer Axl Rose (L) and bassist Tommy Stinson of Guns N' Roses perform at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino during the opening night of the band's second residency, "Guns N' Roses - An Evening of Destruction. No Trickery!" on May 21, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you think Tommy Stinson landed the world’s easiest gig when he joined Guns N’ Roses in 1998, you’ve got another thing coming. Sure, playing a handful of gigs and recording little more than a song a year may not sound like much. Add a healthy salary retainer and infrequent rehearsals, and it begins to sound better than even the cushiest corporate engagement. But make no mistake: being the bassist in Guns N’ Roses takes work. Case in point: Chinese Democracy.

The follow up to Guns N’ Roses’ 1993 effort, The Spaghetti Incident?, the record's extreme budget ($13 million) and absurd incubation period (10 years) made it the butt of many jokes. But behind the scenes, things weren't so funny.  

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