Axl Rose and Slash to reunite for Guns N' Roses at Coachella after 23 years apart

Guns N' Roses, the monster stadium act credited with saving rock from choking on 1980s hair metal, will reunite its "classic" line-up at the 2016 Coachella music festival, according to Billboard.

This means one of rock's longest-lasting feuds – between notoriously volatile GNR frontman Axl Rose and his better-loved lead guitarist Slash – seems to have healed, at least well enough to work together again. Rose once bitterly described Slash as "cancer, better removed and avoided" and when the guitarist quit, Rose sent MTV a fax to tell them about it.

Guns n' Roses in the 1980s. From left: Duff McKagan, Slash, Axl Rose, Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin.
Guns n' Roses in the 1980s. From left: Duff McKagan, Slash, Axl Rose, Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin.  

The pair last played together in concert in Argentina on July 17, 1993, although the top-hatted axeman didn't officially quit until October 1996. So when GNR take the stage at Coachella in mid-April, it'll be Rose's and Slash's first gig together for nearly 23 years, many of those spent with not a word exchanged.

Coachella has in recent years convinced several big-name acts to emerge from retirement, even if temporarily, including Rage Against the Machine in 2007 and Outkast in 2014. You can't really count Tupac Shakur in 2012 as he was technically a hologram.

The festival drew just under 200,000 fans to the California Desert in 2014.

In May, Slash hinted on CBS television that the reunion was being talked about. "I gotta be careful what I say there," said Slash, whose real name is Saul Hudson. 

Bass player Duff McKagan, drummer Steven Adler and guitarist Izzy Stradlin, are also rejoining Slash and Rose. This was the five-piece that produced the band's ultra-successful debut, Appetite for Destruction, which sold in excess of 30 million copies.

Billboard quoted "multiple [unnamed] sources" but had enough detail on a mammoth post-Coachella tour of "as many as 25 football stadiums in North America" to suggest its reporters might have been in the room when the ink dried on contracts.

The music website claimed the band "is asking as much as US$3 million per show, with tickets [likely to cost up to] the $250-$275 range".