Guns N’ Roses was detained at the Canadian border for having a gun on board, frontman Axl Rose revealed to a sold-out crowd of 50,000 at Toronto’s Rogers Centre Saturday night (July 16).
The singer appropriately waited until the evening’s 18th song, “Out Ta Get Me,” before telling the amusing story. But it turns out that no one was out to get him or anyone else in GNR.
“You did what? What? ‘Oh, yeah, we found a gun.’ So we weren’t exactly arrested, we were detained,” Rose said, smiling, and emphasizing the word “detained.” He nodded to Slash, as he paced the stage, continuing his tale from the road.
“They were very nice. They were very nice,” he repeated of the customs officers. “They were very understanding. You know, it happens — you can forget you had a f—in’ gun,” he said sarcastically, laughing, then shrugging. “Wasn’t my gun.”
A Guns N’ Roses representative confirmed the story to Billboard. “Yes, this indeed happened on Friday, July 15, as they were crossing the border coming from the Philadelphia tour stop on the 14th.” The gun did not belong to any member of the band, according to the rep.
No word on how many times Guns N’ Roses had been detained at the Canadian border, but it seems to have started happening early in the band’s career. In a 1988 interview with Spin, Rose is quoted as saying, “This year, I was only arrested once at the Canadian border, for my stun gun. I didn’t know they’re illegal there.”
Saturday night’s concert started just before 10 p.m. and lasted a marathon two hours and 45 minutes, with a 25-song set list. It was the band’s only Canadian date on its Not In This Lifetime Tour that runs through the end of November.