History has seen a number of incredible tour pairings called off before they ever got to take the stage. Kanye West and Lady Gaga had a massive arena tour scheduled for 2009 before the rapper’s interruption of Taylor Swift’s MTV Music Awards speech led to him taking a career break. Rage Against the Machine and Beastie Boys were just days away from kicking off their Rhyme and Reason 2000 tour when Mike D busted his shoulder while biking.
In the early 1990s, there was one potential joint tour being discussed behind the scenes that would have destroyed venues and melted faces — but you’ve probably never heard of it. It never even got out of the negotiation phase, so very few people outside the groups’ inner circles knew about it. But as DJ Yella once told Rolling Stone, N.W.A. and Guns N’ Roses were this close to hitting the road together.
“We were supposed to do a couple of shows with them, but our manager got too greedy,” Yella said in 2016. “They wanted to give us $25,000 for 10 minutes, but our management wanted $50,000 so it didn’t work.”
Even for just 10 minutes, watching N.W.A. open for GNR would have been the concert of a lifetime. The two groups were clearly fans of each other, with Axl Rose donning an N.W.A. hat while performing and in videos, and N.W.A.’s Niggaz4Life track “Appetite for Destruction” clearly inspired by GNR’s album of the same name. Unfortunately, greed got in the way — or, if you were a venue operator in the 1990s, perhaps fortunately, as there’s no doubt the two groups’ infamous partying ways would have surely only been amplified once they got together.