Axl Rose, along with Izzy Stradlin, was the real song writing talent in GNR. As Velvet Revolver proves, Slash, Duff and Matt Sorum, while great musicians, are not good songwriters. Without Axl and Izzy they'd have nowhere near the profile they do now. Part of the reason these two were kicked out is because they were always wasted all the time and couldn't contribute anything, Slash is always going on about how fucked up he was on heroin and booze, Duff was a bad alcoholic as well, who wants to work with assholes like that. I hope that Chinese Democracy, when it is released does well and justifies the time spent on it. Axls shows in NZ and Australia last year were awesome, hope he gets down here again soon, with a new album under his belt.