Duff McKagan's latest string of performances with Guns N' Roses will turn out to be more than just a set of any gigs, but the beginning of the band's classic lineup reunion, or at least so claims Axl Rose's former personal manager, Craig Duswalt.
Duswalt, who had been handling the singer's affairs during the "Use Your Illusion" tour, is confident that Duff is clearing the way for the rest of the old-school crew and should ultimately make the reunion possible in the next two years.
"Duff is paving the way to open the gates again," Duswalt told ABC News. "Axl and Duff are really getting along well at the concerts, so there's an opening."
Describing McKagan's return to cover the group's current bassist Tommy Stinson as the first glimpse of hope fans got in a while, Craig remembered a moment when Slash was seemingly open to burry the hatchet with Rose.
"About five years ago, Slash went to Axl's house one day, and Axl didn't want to see him," he said. "We thought for a while, yes [a reunion could happen], but then it just got ugly again and we thought, 'There's no way.'"
Discussing the mysterious feud between the two icons, the manager added, "It was a thing that happened at the end of ['Use Your Illusion']. There were also the differences in music, like Slash wanted to do more hard rock stuff and Axl wanted to do more ballads, rock ballads. There was that difference, but there was a specific thing that happened that both of them are at odds over."
Saying how he knows "for a fact they hate each other right now," Duswalt concluded. "It's bad. Axl is a loyal guy and you get on his bad side and some people don't come back, but Slash and him were so close. We [in the old-school Guns camp] all have a feeling it will happen. It's gonna happen in the next two years... there's an opening because of Duff playing with Axl."
In recent GN'R news, Rose has confirmed that the band has two albums worth of unreleased material and has actually considered Duff's full-time return to the fold as a legitimate possibility.