Billboard Bits: Guns N' Roses, Kiss, Ahmet Ertegun

News on Guns N' Roses, Kiss, Ahmet Ertegun

AxlGuns N' Roses hasn't released a new album in a decade, but that isn't stopping Geffen from delving into the group's back catalog. On Oct. 28, the label will offer the first DVD editions of the 1998 home video "Welcome to the Videos," plus the separate 1992 home videos "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II: World Tour - 1992 in Toyko."

"Welcome to the Videos" rounds up clips for such favorites as "Welcome to the Jungle," "Sweet Child O' Mine," "Patience," "Don't Cry" and GNR's cover of Wings' "Live and Let Die." The "Use Your Illusion" videos chronicle Tokyo performances from the tour in support of the two-part 1991 album of the same name, which debuted on the same day at No. 1 and 2 on The Billboard 200. No bonus features have been added to any of the three DVDs.

Guns N' Roses has been dormant since its disastrous fall 2002 comeback tour, which was derailed after frontman Axl Rose failed to show up for a concert in Philadelphia. The group's terminally delayed album "Chinese Democracy" appears no closer to release; a March posting on GNR's official Web site says, "stay tuned for news and information on 'Chinese Democracy' coming soon.'"

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Axl"Kiss: Behind the Mask," a new authorized biography of the legendary rock act, hit stores today (Oct. 15) via Warner Books. Authors David Leaf and Ken Sharp trace the band from its origins as Wicked Lester through interviews with Kiss' band members and those who have worked with the band over the last three decades.

The book features previously unpublished photos and comments from fellow artists such as Pete Townshend, Brian Wilson, Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, Joe Perry, Lenny Kravitz, Ted Nugent and Ozzy Osbourne. Also included is a song-by-song commentary tracking through each of the band's albums.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

AhmetAhmet Ertegun will be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame at an Oct. 25 ceremony in Oneonta, N.Y. The Atlantic Group co-chairman/co-CEO and founder of Atlantic Records will be honored along with his late brother, Nesuhi and late former Warner Communications executive Steve Ross, who were behind the North American Soccer League's (NASL) New York franchise, the Cosmos.

The trio is among 16 inductees of players and executives involved in the NASL, the first national professional league in the U.S. The Cosmos, who counted international soccer great Pele among their teammates, were founded in 1971 and played their last game in 1984. The Erteguns were also instrumental in bringing the World Cup to the U.S. for the first time in 1994.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.