In what surely is not some covertly orchestrated PR stunt, Dr Pepper issued a challenge to Axl Rose: Release the mythically delayed Chinese Democracy–the first album of new Guns N' Roses material since 1991's Use Your Illusion I and II–by the end of 2008, and the company will give a free can (is that redundant?) of its ambiguously fruity soft drink to "everyone in America." Chinese Democracy, of course, has become a black pit of money and band members–most notably Slash and virtuoso weirdo Buckethead–that Rose has been trying to dig himself out of since 1994. In response, Rose posted the following brief and apparently bewildered press release on the GNR website:

"We are surprised and very happy to have the support of Dr Pepper with our album Chinese Democracy, as for us, this came totally out of the blue. If there is any involvement with this promotion by our record company or others, we are unaware of such at this time. And as some of Buckethead's performances are on our album, I'll share my Dr Pepper with him."

In related news: Has anyone tried that Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr Pepper yet? I mean, is that shit real?

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