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Guns N Roses fan “banned for life” from live shows over leaked music dispute

By | Published on Monday 14 October 2019

Guns N Roses

A Guns N Roses superfan claims that he has been banned for life from attending the band’s shows, after they seemingly blamed him for a leak of unreleased music.

Rick Dunsford said in a Facebook post last week that he had been pulled out of the queue at a show in Wichita and told that he would not be admitted to the venue.

“Today would be my 33rd time seeing them”, he wrote. “Well, I was just pulled from the line and told if I ever come to a Guns N Roses show again that I’ll be arrested! I was escorted off the property and told I’m done”.

Exactly what grounds there would be for his arrest is unclear but, in an interview with US classic rock radio station 97X, Dunsford explained the background to the dispute.

Well known in the GNR fan community, he said that he had attended the opening show of the band’s current US tour in Charlotte, NC last month and, during that gig, had heard that security at the venue were asking other fans if they’d seen him. He subsequently contacted reps for the band asking if there was an issue that would prevent him from attending other performances on the tour.

“I reached out to them the day after that show and told them I’m coming to some shows – I’ve got tickets to multiple shows – and I wanna make sure that I’m not gonna be thrown out, because it’s a pretty far travel for me to go to this”, he said. “They didn’t tell me not to come or anything, so I just went out there [to Wichita]”.

While in the queue for that show, he says, he received an email from the band’s lawyers telling him that he would not be allowed into any further concerts and therefore he should not travel to Wichita.

But why would Guns N Roses go to such lengths to bar someone who is such a big fan he even called his son Axl? Dunsford claims it’s all down to some unreleased music from recording sessions for the band’s ‘Chinese Democracy’ album.

Earlier this summer, he says, he met with someone who had bought the contents of a storage locker previously owned by former A&R exec Tom Zutaut, who originally signed the band in the 1980s and worked with them for many years. Among the haul was “about 20 CDs … of unreleased Guns N Roses music from around 1999 to 2000 or 2001”.

Together with two friends, Dunsford raised $15,000 to buy this music. After the deal took place, he says that reps for the band contacted him asking for the recordings to be returned. Said reps added that the band would refund him the money he’d shelled out.

Dunsford says that he received the money and provided the band’s reps with a USB stick containing the recordings, which is what he’d been given by the seller who was in control of Zutaut’s former belongings. Shortly after that, he was told by the band’s reps that the previous agreement was now void. Exact details for this change of heart are not clear, but it’s possibly because the band were expecting the receive the original CDs, not tracks on a USB stick.

Shortly afterwards, music from the haul appeared online, with more uploaded in subsequent weeks. And Dunsford is now seemingly accused of being the uploader.

He adds that a further CD’s worth of music from the storage locker was made available online around the time he was kicked out of the Wichita show last week, which the band also suspect him of doing.

Insisting that he isn’t, in fact, the leaker, Dunsford told 97X: “I know the seller that I bought [the recordings] from was continuing to sell to other individuals, and there was a massive leak. So pretty much, I’ve been blamed for this. [The ban] is pretty much for the rest of my life”.

He added that he has had further contact with band’s legal reps and that they are now demanding that he return the $15,000 he was given and additional damages. Dunsford says he can’t do either of these things, because he has already passed a chunk of the $15,000 onto the friends who contributed to the original purchase.

Back in 2009, a blogger named Kevin Cogill was found guilty of leaking nine tracks from the then unreleased ‘Chinese Democracy’ album. He was sentenced to a year’s probation and two months under house arrest.

The band have not as yet commented publicly on Dunsford’s ban from their live shows, or on any possibility that they may or may not have to launch legal action against him.