PORTLAND, ME (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose and manager Merck Mercuriadis have denied rampant reports that the band refused to take the stage at Portland, Maine's Cumberland County Civic Center after being told they could not drink on stage, instead claiming that two overly concerned fire marshals are to blame.
In a statement posted on the band's website, Rose and management blame "draconian authorities," who had set out to harass both the band and their fans, which could have led to "a potentially explosive situation."
According to the statement, "the only sensible decision was to not take that chance."
Axl Rose's full statement is as follows:
"I would like to apologize to all of the fans in Maine for the show not happening last night. It was important for us to play there and it is a shame that what should have been a great night for all of us was not possible due to the actions of two people.
"I agree with, and ultimately take responsibility for, the end decision not to jeopardize the safety of the fans, the crews, the bands and myself as a result of the methods of these particularly draconian authorities. We are not trying to get away or get out of anything or pull a fast one by combining ticket sales as has been speculated.
"There are reasons that I have not spoken more about Montreal and Philadelphia that have been extremely complicated and are not legally resolved behind the scenes to this day and could have possibly jeopardized the future of Guns N' Roses.
"We have chosen to take the public heat for these events in order to have another shot at the future today with a new album.
"The professionals around me felt that Portland was a potentially explosive situation that could have had a somewhat similar result based on the behavior of the two aforementioned fire marshals (it's not my first barbeque!) had the fans been given entry to the building and the show started. In respect of these opinions, our fans, the people of Portland, and the bands scheduled to play with us that night, unfortunately the only sensible decision was not to take that chance.
"We hope to find another way to play for you in the future. Thanks for even trying to see us. It sincerely is much more than appreciated." –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers