Guns N Roses – Unplayed Songs Live

Awhile back I had a look at the songs that Iron Maiden have not played live. It was a fair run through a decent portion of their catalog and kind of a fun exercise to guess what might actually see the light of day on stage versus what almost certainly will never get played. The idea for it came from a Loudwire article, and the site has struck again with the “songs never played live” series. This time the subject is Guns N’ Roses, as the title of this post probably hinted at.

Now this will be a radically different post – GnR only have four songs never played live. I was a bit shocked by that information. While the band were relatively inactive for a long time and do only have what qualifies as four full-length studio releases plus some originals on an EP, four is a very surprising and low number. It means they have run through the vast majority of their catalog in a live setting.

It’s not surprising that all of Appetite For Destruction has been played live, they probably took care of that in the late ’80’s as their star was burning super hot. The GnR Lies EP also has a few original tracks and all have been played live at least a few times, including the mega-controversial song One In A Million. And if we fast forward to 2008’s Axl-led spectacle Chinese Democracy, we will find that those too have all been played live. As a note, this doesn’t count cover songs, so that one thing they released in the mid-90’s before they split isn’t on here.

Yes, in order to pinpoint the unplayed songs we need to visit 1991 and the infamous Use Your Illusion double albums. It is these two discs that all four of today’s songs hail from. It’s honestly more shocking to me that they only didn’t play four of these songs.

Way back when I started this site I did a pretty in-depth dive into the UYI albums. That saga began on this post for anyone interested in a far deeper dive than what I’ll get into today.

This post is pretty quick and simple. Four songs, let’s see what they are and whether or not Guns N’ Roses should throw them in a setlist someday.

Don’t Damn Me

This is the lone unplayed cut from Use Your Illusion I. It’s not a song I’m all that into. It isn’t horrible but there’s nothing special about it, at least to me. It would be “fine” in a live setting but also the band has a billion other songs that are way better so this would be taking up space. I could see them playing it one day just to knock it off the list.

Get In The Ring

This, like the rest of the list, is from Use Your Illusion II. And this one surprises me. This is a massive, swear-filled diss track aimed at the music media who Axl and company despised at the height of their fame, which was roughly 1989-1991. I suppose opinion is divided on this song as opinion is on everything, but I and plenly of other people always really liked this one and I’m honestly a bit floored that they haven’t played it out.

And don’t be fooled by the live crowd chanting in the song – Axl had a June 1991 crowd specifically chant “Get In The Ring” in order to record it and use on the album. This wasn’t done live even though crowd noise is involved.

It wouldn’t shock me at all if the band decided to give this one a go. I could see them maybe not doing Axl’s rant that names off a bunch of journalists and maybe that was one reason why they didn’t play it. But I’d say this one really ought to get some stage time.

Shotgun Blues

Another bit of a surprise and for me a total badass song. I always liked this one and I think it’d work great live. I don’t know what gives here and this is one they need to get into a setlist ASAP.

My World

The final song on UYI II is a total pile and I feel the exact opposite about it as I do about Shotgun Blues. I’d be mad if I heard this shit live, that could be mitigated if they were doing it for the sole purpose of totally clearing their unplayed queue. The better move would be to drop it from the album so it doesn’t count on this list anymore.

Well, that’s about it. Honestly not a lot here and that’s totally fine, I was feeling kind of lazy anyway. I have a feeling that GnR are the type to actually track this kind of stuff and they might throw down on these just to say they’ve played all of their originals live. Or maybe not, I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised. And since their ticket prices are well outside of my reach I don’t have to be worried about shelling out hundreds and being stuck hearing My World live.

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