Current Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus is stirring up speculation that Axl Roses’ embattled band could hit the road in 2009. In a...

Current Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus is stirring up speculation that Axl Roses’ embattled band could hit the road in 2009. In a recent interview with St. Louis, MO-based newspaper The Telegraph, Fortus said the tour would hopefully start in late March and run for “at least two years.”

The tour would support GNR’s latest release, “Chinese Democracy,” which hit stores on November 23, nearly 15 years after Rose initially revealed plans for the record. Despite the legendary delay and years of media hype, the album had a disappointing debut at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with approximately 261,000 copies sold.

The outing would be the fifth “Chinese Democracy” tour. GNR completed dates in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Japan from 2001 and 2007, always with the promise that the band’s first studio album since 1993’s “The Spaghetti Incident?” was on its way.

Though neither Rose nor the band’s management have confirmed a 2009 tour, hints of an upcoming tour first hit in April. At the time, a statement on the band’s Web site noted, “When we begin to put tour plans together, we’ll see where things are. Until then, [lead guitarist Robin Finck is] touring with NIN and we’re working with management on our game plans.”

However, Rose’s reputation for a fiery temper and last-minute show cancellations could also cloud the forecast for a 2009 tour. Fortus referred to the GNR frontman’s checkered past with live performances. “There has been talk of us doing a Love tour, a tour of all the cities where there have been riots, and doing free shows,” he said in the interview, adding, “That might happen.”

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