Guitarist Buckethead experienced internal hemorrhaging which caused the initial tour postponement this summer. The band was supposed to perform at a number of major summer festivals, but all gigs were called off when he fell ill.

“To ensure Guns N’ Roses fans get the album they deserve, Axl Rose has spent every waking minute of every day during the past five years writing, recording, and producing Guns’ first album of all new material since 1991,” band manager Doug Goldstein said.

“Following the euphoria of Rock In Rio (January 14, 2001), I jumped the gun and arranged a European tour as our plan was to have the new album out this year.

“Unfortunately, Buckethead’s illness not only stopped the tour, but it also slowed down progress on Chinese Democracy. As a result, touring right now is logistically impossible.”

After a seven-year hiatus from the stage, Axl Rose and his new crew opened 2001 with a performance at the House Of Blues in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve. Two weeks later, they appeared at the Rock In Rio III festival in Rio de Janerio, looking to stage a comeback – a feat which will have to wait for now.

If there’s anything positive for GNR fans to hold onto, it’s that “everyone is ecstatic with the album and we will be meeting with our label to schedule its release [after] which we will announce the rescheduled tour dates to coincide,” Goldstein said.

Meanwhile, the wait continues for the long-delayed Chinese Democracy album.