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MADELEINE BRAND, host:

Back now with Day to Day. Now that the election is over, maybe you need something else to look forward to. Well, how about what may be the longest-awaited record album in rock history? Here is musician and Day to Day contributor David Was.

DAVID WAS: Rock 'n' rollers, oil up your walkers and aim them at your nearest Best Buy come November 23rd. That big barn retailer will be the exclusive distributor of the new Guns 'n' Roses CD, "Chinese Democracy," a collection of songs some 14 years in the making at a reported cost of nearly $14 million. That's a million a year for band leader Axl Rose, living the reclusive life in lovely Malibu, California. Welcome to the jungle indeed.

It is perhaps no mistake that one of the tracks on the new album is titled "Catcher in the Rye." Rose is arguably hard-rock's answer to JD Salinger, who hasn't published a word since 1965 and whose distaste for the ever-curious media is shared by the singer.

(Soundbite of song "Chinese Democracy")

GUNS & ROSES (Singing): Don't really matter, going to find out for yourself.

WAS: One glance at the lyrics of Rose's title track, "Chinese Democracy," leaves one wondering whether there's been too much MSG or even mercury in Axl's reportedly all-sushi diet. Is it an angry ode to a spurned lover, or an oblique and overdue commentary on Tiananmen Square-era politics in Beijing? Sitting in a Chinese stew, he sings in one verse, and blame it on the Falun Gong in another. Even Charlie Chan couldn't solve this mystery.

(Soundbite of song "Chinese Democracy")

GUNS & ROSES (singing): Blame it on the Falun Gong. They see the hand and you can't hold on now.

WAS: Former Guns & Roses guitar player, Slash, may have shed some light on Rose's artistic hyper-sensitivity during an interview with David Letterman last year. Apparently, young Axl had been crashing at Slash's mom's house in the early going. She kept finding him passed out on Granny's couch. The poor old lady had nowhere to sit. So on the way to a rehearsal, Slash says he finally confronted Axl.

SLASH (Guitarist): And we got in the car, and I very delicately put it to him that that was sort of rude and whatever, and it was - his reaction was to jump out of the car. It was probably about 35, 40 miles an hour down Santa Monica Boulevard.

WAS: There came a point, Slash told another interviewer, speaking of Guns & Roses, that it just stopped being fun.

(Soundbite of song "Chinese Democracy")

GUNS & ROSES (Singing): It don't really matter. Guess I'll keep it to myself.

WAS: You want fun, get yourself a free 20-ounce bottle of Dr. Pepper when "Chinese Democracy" finally comes out. The soft drink bottler had challenged the band to release the album before 2009 rolled around, and is now apparently going to make good on the offer.

If that's not enough syrupy corporate synergy for you, Microsoft's X-Box platform is featuring another new Guns & Roses track, "Shackler's Revenge," on the just-released Rock Band 2 game. I've got an itchy finger, Axl sings in a distorted whine, I'm going to pull the trigger and blow them all away.

Nice to know the anger-management classes finally kicked in.

CHADWICK: Day to Day music contributor David Was. The Guns & Roses album, "Chinese Democracy," will be released in about two weeks.

(Soundbite of song "Chinese Democracy")

GUNS & ROSES: (Singing) I've got a funny feeling you did something wrong today. I've got a funny feeling, and it won't go away.

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