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Tuesday, 10 December, 2002, 15:03 GMT
Roses cancel tour after riots
Vancouver city
Vancouver: Fans held pitched battles with police
Guns N' Roses have cancelled their first tour in a decade after lead singer Axl Rose pulled out of two concerts and fans rioted in Canada.

The band began the tour of north America in November - but on the opening gig in Vancouver, Canada, police were called in to stop rioting fans after Rose failed to appear.

The remaining 13 dates of the Chinese Democracy tour were dropped by promoters Clear Channel Entertainment, after Rose was absent for Friday's concert in Philadelphia citing "health issues".

The tour was intended to be the start of Guns N' Roses' return to the rock scene and was due to be followed with a new album early next year.

Axl Rose
Axl Rose: Guns N' Roses have not toured North America for nine years
Rose had told fans at New York's Madison Square Garden last week that the tour was a reunion because "I managed to get enough of myself together to do this".

The singer had blamed the venue in Vancouver for the concert riot, that led to damage estimated at $100,000 (42,500) in November.

Disgruntled fans used planters, steel barricades and concrete rubbish bins to smash glass doors at the city's General Motors Place when the concert was cancelled minutes before it was due to start.

Around 8,000 fans had arrived to watch the band, without knowing that Rose was still hours away, stuck in Los Angeles.

Pitched battles

Some fans - many of whom remembered the band cancelling a Vancouver show in 1992 - began to riot after the last-minute announcement.

"At 7:35, it was a crowd milling about. At 7:36, it was a full-blown riot," said Vancouver Deputy Chief Constable Gary Greer.

Doors and windows around the venue were attacked before more than 120 police officers arrived on the scene.

Some rioters were involved in pitched battles with police, and concrete blocks were dropped on some officers from a nearby overpass.

While no fans were reported injured, several police received cuts and bruises. Police made 12 arrests.

Rose is the only original member still with the group.

See also:

11 Nov 02 | Entertainment
23 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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06 Nov 02 | England
26 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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