A significant cooperation involving Guns N’ Roses, U2, and Pearl Jam was considered behind closed doors, but negotiations broke through. This is not unusual in the music industry, with major bands or solo acts declining the opportunity to collaborate. Carrie Underwood unexpectedly turned down Florida Georgia Line, while Katy Perry expressed sorrow for turning down Billie Eilish and a prospective collaboration early in the artist’s climb to popularity. This idea, in instance, occurred in 1993. As we’ll see later, Axl Rose was the one who came up with the prospective plan. The possibility of U2 and Pearl Jam joining Guns N’ Roses on tour was considered. U2 seemed to have agreed to the idea, but Pearl Jam’s manager was not on board. We’ll explain why the negotiations fell apart and what happened behind the scenes between the bands. Former Guns N’ Roses manager Doug Goldstein desired a Guns N’ Roses-U2-Pearl Jam tour. With Pearl Jam, U2, and Guns N’ Roses all reunited in 1993, this could’ve been something special. According to Doug Goldstein, former manager of Guns N’ Roses, there was genuine enthusiasm from his band, and even U2 was optimistic about the concept. Surprisingly, it was Axl Rose behind the scenes who came up with the pitch. Looking back, Goldstein reveals.
“What happened was Axl [Rose] came to me, Pearl Jam had just broken, they had released Ten and it was on fire, and I was [somewhere] in Tel Aviv, Israel, where we were playing,” Goldstein explained. “In the morning, Axl came to me and said, ‘I don’t care if we open, I don’t care if we don’t get paid, I want to do a show or a couple of shows with us, Pearl Jam, and U2 closing.'” Could you please call everyone?’ “I replied, ‘Sure.'” The potential was there, and it didn’t appear that the band’s ego was involved. U2 agreed to the proposal, but when Pearl Jam’s representative was called, everything went apart. Pearl Jam’s manager immediately denied the request without consulting the band. It is terrible that things turned out the way they did. According to Consequence and Goldstein, Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis expressed little interest in the merger and did not even give the proposal a chance. Goldstein repeated the conversation, and it appears that there was no wriggle room, nor was the band informed about the impending union. “‘Kelly, can you please pick up?'” ‘No.’ ‘Kelly, I need to talk to you about something serious.”I don’t mind, what do you want?’ ‘Kelly, I can’t hear you because I’m in a closet.’ ‘I don’t care, Doug, what do you want?” Getting the manager to hear what was being offered was a challenge in and of itself, and the idea did not go over well. “So I told him, and he said, ‘Eh, no.'” We’re going to decline. ‘Hold on a second, I manage Guns, and when an idea occurs to me, I normally talk to the band,’ I said. ‘Are you speaking on behalf of the band?’ I ask.
‘Yeah, we’re going to pass?’ he says. Goldstein was especially irritated since the band had not been informed or consulted about the possibility. “I go, ‘Don’t you have a moral ethical responsibility to at least discuss it with the band?’ Don’t tell me my job. ‘Okay, nice talking to you, have a great life!” Kelly Curtis, Pearl Jam’s manager, began by casually assisting the band and later evolved into a more involved role. Kelly Curtis announced his retirement in 2020, and according to Variety, he must’ve been doing something creative since 1990. According to Curtis, his involvement with Pearl Jam began quite casually and was nothing official. “They didn’t know anybody in L.A. who had any kind of connection with lawyers, managers, or record companies,” he says Variety. I’d come from a Heart background, which made no sense to any of us, apart from the fact that I’d had some experience in the music business.” Curtis began by assisting the band, but this quickly evolved into something far more. “The deal was that I would assist them in meeting some people. I replied, ‘Sure.’ So we traveled to Los Angeles to speak with lawyers and record labels. I’m not sure if we met with management or not, but it gradually became clear to me that I should just do it. We were getting along well enough that we decided to keep going. It simply sort of evolved spontaneously.” Given the duration and closeness between the two sides, it is clear the chemistry and trust was present.