Guns N' Roses surprised fans at their latest Los Angeles homecoming show last night (November 2) by casually dropping a previously unreleased song from their Chinese Democracy sessions, first discussed 16 years ago, into their 25-song set.
Introduced simply by Axl Rose with the words, "This is called The General," the atmospheric, down-beat song was aired in between two other 'new' GN'R songs, Perhaps, played live for them first this summer at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 18, and Absurd, which was released as a single in August 2021.
According to Rolling Stone, word of the existence of The General dates back to 2007, when former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach referenced it in an interview with Metal Edge magazine.
“It’s by far the heaviest metal tune I think I’ve ever heard Axl do,” Bach stated, “this slow, grinding riff with these high, piercing vocals, screaming vocals. I was like, ‘When is this coming out?’ And he said, ‘2012’.”
The following year, Bach told Rolling Stone that Rose had written The General as a sequel to Estranged.
The chorus of the song opens with the lines, "My only regret is that I never took the time to forgive all those unspoken feelings" while the pre-chorus finds Rose singing, "Can anybody tell me why the pain, it just won't stop?"
Listen to the song below:
The General is slated to emerge as the B-side to Perhaps on a limited edition seven inch vinyl single next month. The single was originally due to emerge on October 21. According to a press release, Perhaps was "written and recorded by Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan this year," and is Guns N' Roses' "first collective new composition and recording together in thirty years."