Now that Guns N’ Roses’ “Better” has been getting airplay at rock-starved stations around the country, the band’s official Web site has enlisted keyboardist Dizzy Reed to explain what happened:
“Here’s what I know,” keyboardist Dizzy Reed explains to GunsNRoses.com. “We were doing a commercial with Harley-Davidson. Harley was going to do a version using ‘Paradise City’ and another version using ‘Better.’ Their Web site even had a version up for like one day with ‘Better,’ but the version of ‘Better’ that they had was an unfinished, unapproved demo. That’s why it was removed. The version that’s getting airplay is that same demo.
“Our understanding of how that happened is that an experimental edit using ‘Better’ in place of ‘Paradise City’ was somehow accidentally mislabeled as the ‘Paradise City’ Harley-Davidson video/commercial and was inadvertently released on the internet. We believe the ‘leak’ came from this source tape and someone with access to it.
“For the record, absolutely none of the songs that have been leaked have come from the band or our organization. None of the songs that have been leaked are anything more than demo versions, works in progress. No final mixes.”
The track didn’t sound like a demo to our (not-as-trained in the ways of Axl) ears; we’re also wondering where the talk of “Better” being shopped around to music video directors fits in here, since we received that tip a couple of months after the Harley ad leaked. (Also, this supposed “demo” sounds a lot more fleshed-out than, say, the scratchy, one-mic version of “Shadows Of Love” we owned on cassette back in the day.) At this point, really, we’re only sure of one thing: There is no way this album comes out before
2008 2014 we retire.