I give you the “100 cultural milestones,” which have occurred in the time it’s taken Axl to make Chinese Democracy……….
Appetite for deduction
Nearly 15 years on from the release of their last album, The Spaghetti Incident (and even that wasn’t a proper one), Guns N’ Roses will finally unveil Chinese Democracy later this month. To put this event in context, Pete Cashmore trawls his memory for 100 major cultural milestones that have occurred between GN’R albums.
23/11/93 On the day that The Spaghetti Incident is released, Miley Cyrus celebrates her first birthday.
21/1/94 Lorena Bobbitt is found not guilty of cutting her husband’s winky off, despite the fact that she did it.
5/4/94 Kurt Cobain commits suicide at the age of 27. You can make a gag if you like, but we’re buggered if we’re going to.
10/5/94 Nelson Mandela becomes South Africa’s first black president, paving the way for a meeting with the Spice Girls.
30/8/94 Oasis release their debut album Definitely Maybe. Whatever happened to them, eh folks?
3/9/94 Russia and the People’s Republic of China sign an agreement to stop targeting their nuclear weapons against each other. “Bugger, we were enjoying that,” thinks the United States.
23/9/94 Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction premieres in the US.
25/1/95 Eric Cantona karate kicks a Palace fan for being mean to him.
27/3/95 Tom Hanks wins the Best Actor Oscar for Forrest Gump, despite the fact that all he does is talk a bit slow wearing a funny suit.
3/9/95 eBay is founded. Copies of The Spaghetti Incident are traded for as little as $2 a piece.
3/10/95 OJ Simpson is found not guilty of the murder of his wife and one of her gentlemen friends.
29/1/96 French president Jacques Chirac announces an end to French nuclear testing.
13/2/96 In another crushing blow for music Take That announce they are to split.
28/2/96 Alanis Morissette wins a Grammy Award for her album Jagged Little Pill. Ah, truly those were different times.
25/3/96 Braveheart, the factually ridiculous English-hating epic by reactionary bigot Mel Gibson, wins Best Picture at the Oscars.
8/6/96 England play host to Euro 96, and fail to win.
8/7/96 The Spice Girls release their debut single, Wannabe, revealing that all they really want is a zig-a-zig-aah. But then don’t we all?
18/11/96 Bird expert Tony Silva is sentenced to seven years in prison for his part in an illegal parrot smuggling ring. No, we’re not making this up.
22/2/97 Scientists announce the successful cloning of a sheep called Dolly. Comedians have a field day.
2/5/97 Tony Blair is voted into office, on account of the fact that he just seems like a really nice man.
3/5/97 … and just a day later, Katrina and the Waves win the Eurovision song contest. Yes! In your face!
11/5/97 A computer beats Garry Kasparov at chess. “Oh dear,” mankind thinks to itself.
26/6/97 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone hits the shelves.
31/8/97 Princess Diana dies following a car crash in Paris.
22/11/97 Singer Michael Hutchence dies of sex.
17/1/98 Bill Clinton is accused of sexual harassment.
23/3/98 Titanic wins a record 11 Oscars, despite the fact it’s rubbish.
7/4/98 George Michael is arrested for lewd conduct following some naughty behaviour in an LA loo.
26/5/98 Bear Grylls becomes the youngest man to climb Everest, paving the way for a glittering career in made-up survival telly.
19/8/98 Bill Clinton admits to an “improper physical relationship” with Monica Lewinsky. She blew him, in other words.
4/9/98 The search engine Google is founded, affording journalists the world over the opportunity to never do any work again.
23/10/98 Britney Spears releases Baby One More Time.
1/3/99 Geffen Records’ deadline for the early release of Chinese Democracy, which would have netted Axl Rose a $1m bonus, passes.
17/3/99 Rod Hull dies.
21/3/99 Ernie Wise dies. Enough light-entertainer death, already!
20/4/99 Marilyn Manson orchestrates the Columbine High School massacre.
26/5/99 Manchester United win the Champions League.
4/7/99 David Beckham and Victoria Adams from out of the Spice Girls marry in a big castle.
11/8/99 A total solar eclipse occurs. Everyone goes, “Ooooh!”
1/1/00 The 21st century begins, unless you’re one of those pedantic twerps who points out that it doesn’t actually start until 2001.
2/1/00 People finally stop using the phrase “Y2K”.
17/2/00 Windows 2000 is out.
5/7/00 Tony Blair’s 16-year-old son Euan is arrested for being “drunk and incapable” in London.
31/12/00 The Millenium Dome closes. A nation weeps.
1/1/01 “Right, NOW it’s the 21st century,” say pedantic twerps.
1/1/01 Guns N’Roses play a gig at the Chicago House Of Blues, their first live concert for seven years.
15/1/01 Wikipedia, without which this article simply wouldn’t exist, is launched.
20/1/01 George W Bush becomes president of US. “Is this some kind of joke?” asks rest of the world.
25/3/01 Gladiator wins the Best Picture Oscar, in a rare example of taste from the Academy.
7/6/01 Labour win general election; Tony Blair still really, really nice.
2/7/01 World’s first artificial heart implanted in a human being. Aren’t we clever?
11/9/01 We had something written down for this one, but we’ve forgotten what it was.
15/2/02 The Britney Spears movie Crossroads is released. It’s rubbish.
30/3/02 The Queen Mother dies at the age of 101.
2/10/02 A sniper randomly shoots members of the public in Maryland.
19/10/02 Wayne Rooney becomes the youngest ever Premier League goalscorer with a wonder goal against Arsenal.
16/12/02 Popstars: The Rivals winners One True Voice release debut single Sacred Trust, but are beaten to the top spot by Girls Aloud’s Sound Of The Underground.
22/12/02 Joe Strummer dies.
1/2/03 The Columbia space shuttle explodes on re-entry to the earth’s atmosphere, killing seven crew members and nine golden orb weaver spiders. Fact!
9/2/03 Great news for substandard comedians everywhere as BBC3 commences broadcasts.
23/3/03 Chicago wins Best Picture at the Oscars. Sigh …
22/6/03 The largest hailstone ever recorded lands in Nebraska.
18/11/03 George W Bush visits London, and finds it less than friendly.
20/11/03 Michael Jackson is arrested on absurd charges of child molestation.
22/11/03 England win the rugby World Cup, beating Australia.
4/2/04 The website Facebook is launched, affording co-workers the world over the opportunity to send each other virtual rubber chickens.
29/2/04 The Return of the King wins 11 Oscars, which means it’s officially as good as Titanic.
19/5/04 Tony Blair hit by a flour bomb in the House Of Commons. A nation wets itself laughing.
8/6/04 Velvet Revolver, featuring ex-Gunners Slash and Duff McKagan, release debut album Contraband.
28/9/04 Wayne Rooney scores a hat-trick on his Manchester United debut against Fenerbahce.
2/11/04 Eleven US states ban gay marriage. God bless America!
17/12/04 The Libertines play their final ever gig together.
15/2/05 YouTube goes online.
14/3/05 Peter Kay and Tony Christie release Is This The Way To Amarillo?
25/5/05 Liverpool win the Champions League final.
13/6/05 Michael Jackson acquitted of all charges. See, we told you.
26/6/05 Richard Whiteley dies at the age of 61, sadly not accompanied by the sound of the Countdown clock grinding to a halt.
1/7/05 Being Jordan by Katie Price flies off the shelves after the paperback edition is published.
12/9/05 The England cricket team dramatically win The Ashes. Everybody pretends to have loved cricket all along.
25/11/05 Take That reform. All is once more well with the world.
20/1/06 The first High School Musical is released.
5/5/06 Axl Rose appears on radio and states with absolute authority that Chinese Democracy will definitely be released this year.
15/7/06 Cheryl Tweedy and Ashley Cole get married. Bizarrely, they don’t do it in a castle.
30/7/06 Top Of The Pops airs for the final time.
14/12/06 Axl Rose announces to fans that all these gigs they are playing are delaying the release of Chinese Democracy.
17/2/07 Britney Spears shaves her own hair off in a beauty parlour. “She got a little bit teary-eyed,” notes the proprietor, astutely.
6/3/07 The slated release date of Chinese Democracy passes without any sign of any product.
29/3/07 Rihanna releases the single Umbrella in the US. No Guns N’Roses fans buy it.
18/5/07 Singer Amy Winehouse marries enabling narcotic leech Blake Fielder-Civil.
18/6/07 Bernard Manning dies.
17/8/07 High School Musical 2 is released. It is, to the naked eye, very similar to the original.
9/9/07 Britney Spears performs Gimme More at the MTV Video Music Awards. With a wig on.
29/4/08 Mel B announces that the Spice Girls will regretfully not reform for Mandela’s 90th birthday.
21/5/08 Manchester Utd win the Champions League.
12/6/08 Wayne Rooney and Colleen McLoughlin marry in a 17th-century Italian castle. Obviously.
10/9/08 The Large Hadron Collider is started up, despite the possibility that it may create a giant black hole into which all life on Earth may instantaneously vanish.
19/9/08 The Large Hadron Collider breaks down. Nobody is very upset.
22/10/08 The title track of Chinese Democracy is played on the radio for the first time. The reaction is massively underwhelming.
22/10/08 High School Musical 3: Senior Year is released. Guardian film reviewer Peter Bradshaw notes that “it makes cellophane taste like chicken jalfrezi”.
4/11/08 Barack Obama is voted in as the first black President of the United States. Unless something really weird happens. We’ll have already gone to press, see?
- – - Chinese Democracy is out on Nov 24.