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Guns N' Roses Just Banned a 30-Year Tradition From Their Live Shows

Frontman Axl Rose announced that their concerts are changing "in the interest of public safety."

There's one thing that fans won't be seeing the next time they attend a Guns N' Roses concert—and it might just keep them safer. On Dec. 2, frontman Axl Rose announced that he will no longer throw his microphone into the audience during shows, as he has for decades. The news comes after an Australian woman claimed that she was injured by the mic hitting her in the face.

This is not the first time an audience member has been injured by the 30-year tradition. Read on to find out more and to see what Rose had to say about throwing in the towel by not throwing his microphone.

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He traditionally throws his mic after one of their biggest hits.

Axl Rose performing circa 1980s
Ke.Mazur/WireImage via Getty Images

Rose has made a tradition of tossing a mic into the audience for a lucky fan to keep—lucky as long as they can catch it without being hit. This usually happens at the end of the show, after the band plays "Paradise City." Fans on Reddit have noted that it seems Rose throws out a cheaper microphone rather than the one actually being used during most of the concert.

A woman was struck in the face.

Guns N' Roses performing in Rdio de Janeiro in 2017
A.PAES / Shutterstock

Rebecca Howe says that she was hit in the face with the microphone during the Guns N' Roses concert in Adelaide, South Australia on Nov. 29. In a photo published by Australia's ABC News, Howe has bruises under both of her eyes and scratches across her nose.

"[Rose] took a bow and then he launched the microphone out to the crowd … and then bang, right on the bridge of my nose," Howe told The Advertiser (via Nine News). She said that there was "blood everywhere" after she was hit.

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She wanted to warn future concertgoers.

Axl Rose performing in Madrid in 2017
Photography Stock Ruiz / Shutterstock

Howe said that another concert attendee recovered the microphone while she was trying to figure out what happened to her.

"An off-duty police officer pulled me to the side because I was in shock and hyperventilating, my mind went, 'Oh my God, my face is caved in,'" she said. "I had blood dripping down the front of me."

According to ABC News, Howe said that by sharing her story "[her] intentions were not to gain anything" but rather to caution others. "I was just putting out a warning for people, if Axl sings 'Paradise City' get ready to duck for cover," she said.

Rose made a statement on social media.

In a Twitter post on Dec. 2, Rose announced that he will no longer throw microphones into the crowd.

"It's come to my attention that a fan may have been hurt at [our] show in Adelaide, Australia possibly being hit by the microphone at the end of the show when I traditionally toss the mic to the fans," the 60-year-old singer wrote. "If true obviously we don't want anyone getting hurt or to somehow in anyway hurt anyone at any of [our] shows anywhere."

Rose continued, "Having tossed the mic at the end of [our] show for over 30 years we always felt it was a known part of the very end of [our] performance that fans wanted and were aware of to have an opportunity to catch the mic. Regardless in the interest of public safety from now on we'll refrain from tossing the mic or anything to the fans during or at [our] performances."

The musician added that he believes some of the reporting on the matter framed the microphone throw in a "negative [and] out of nowhere light which couldn't be father from reality."

This wasn't the first time someone was injured by a mic.

Axl Rose performing in Rio de Janeiro in 2017
A.PAES / Shutterstock

In 2013, a concertgoer named Darren Wright sued Rose after a thrown microphone knocked out two of his teeth. This incident took place in Perth, Western Australia.

"With the bright lights and explosions, I couldn't see anything," Wright told The Western Australian. "The next thing I knew, I was whacked in the mouth. I thought I had been punched. I was quite stunned and it took a few seconds to realize what was going on. I could feel bits of teeth in my mouth. Then someone is climbing through my legs to grab the microphone." Wright added, "Those cordless microphones are not light. I'm surprised it didn't do more damage. At the very least, I want someone to pay to get my teeth fixed."

According to 7 News Australia, Wright ended up being paid $14,000 AUD by the band's insurance.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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