LEWISTON, Maine – Guns N' Roses canceled a performance in Portland, Maine this week after being told by state officials that the band could not drink on stage.
Inspectors from the state fire marshal's office gave the band the no-drinking order when they came to look over the pyrotechnics planned for Monday's scheduled concert at the Cumberland County Civic Center, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Public Safety Department.
McCausland said the band had wanted to drink beer, wine and Jagermeister while performing. A couple of hours after being told that would violate state law, Guns N' Roses canceled its concert, he said.
After the cancellation, a band spokesperson blamed fire marshals for "making it impossible for the band to perform their show to the usual high standards that their fans deserve." The press release, however, did not give a specific reason for the pullout.
Band leader Axl Rose issued a statement through the Guns N' Roses Web site apologizing to fans in Maine.
"It was important for us to play there and it is a shame that what should have been a great night for all of us was not possible due to the actions of two people," said Rose, referring to the fire marshals.
"I agree with, and ultimately take responsibility for, the end decision not to jeopardize the safety of the fans, the crews, the bands and myself as a result of the methods of these particularly draconian authorities," Rose's statement said. "We hope to find another way to play for you in the future."
Jeff Austin, supervisor of liquor licensing and inspection for the state Department of Public Safety, said state law prohibits performers from drinking while on stage, and prohibits employees at establishments with liquor licenses from drinking on the job.
"It's been on the books for years," said Austin, adding that he talked to state inspectors Monday afternoon while they were at the civic center to read them the law.
Austin said he's issued citations for three or four administrative violations of the no-drinking law this year.
The Cumberland County Civic Center Web site said refunds for the Guns N' Roses concert would be issued at the point of purchase.