Guns N’ Roses Dedicate ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ to Kobe Bryant
During last night's concert as part of the Super Bowl Music Fest, Guns N' Roses dedicated their version of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" to Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and the eight other people -- including Bryant's daughter Gianna -- who were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., last Sunday.
As Axl Rose says in the video below, he witnessed the smoke from the accident. He was coming home from rehearsal and saw something like "a fog bank, like a thundercloud over the trees," that was white He described it as "formidable," while others who were returning to his house in different cars said it was "ominous." "Apparently," he said, "it was much worse."
"We wanna dedicate this to Kobe, his daughter, everyone on the flight, their families and everyone affected by this terrible event," Rose concluded, and the band began the song.
According to Setlist, Guns N' Roses broke out the Appetite for Destruction deep cut "You're Crazy" for the first time since Slash and Duff McKagan re-joined the band, although video has yet to surface. The site notes that they last performed "You're Crazy" on April 12, 2014. The song had made its way into their Jan. 17, 1993 show at the Estadio River Plate in Buenos Aires, the last night of the Use Your Illusion tour, with Slash and McKagan leaving before the band played another concert.
The concert also featured an opening set by Snoop Doog, and the two acts shared backstage pictures on social media.
Setlist also reports that the show from Miami's American Airlines Arena had to be paused after "November Rain" due to an unspecified technical issue. This was the band's first show of 2020, with them heading to South America in March and April, followed by a European tour in May and June.
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea recently spoke about how Bryant's death affected him. In an interview with ESPN, he spoke about Bryant's evolution as a player and a person. "He came when he was 17 years old to the Lakers. I met him when he was 17 years old," Flea said before describing how he entered the league as an "arrogant kid" -- not passing and not getting along with teammate Shaquille O'Neal -- and then became "humbler, and he became kinder and he started learning how to lift up his teammates. ... Then he retires and we watch him evolve even more. He’s a storyteller — he’s putting out kids’ books. He’s coaching a girls basketball team and to see him go like this is just devastating."