GUNS N' ROSES cancelled a performance in 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 inspect the pyrotechnics planned for Monday's concert (13NOV06) in Portland. STEPHEN MCCAUSLAND, a spokesperson for the Maine Public Safety Department, said the band wanted to drink beer, wine and Jagermeister while performing. He said a couple of hours after being told that the drinking would violate state law, the band cancelled its concert. After the cancellation, a band spokesperson blamed the fire marshals for "making it impossible for the band to perform their show to the usual high standards that their fans deserve." Frontman Axl Rose issued a statement on the Guns N' Roses website apologising to fans in Maine saying, "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 (the fire marshals)." "I agree with, and ultimately take responsibility for, the end decision not to jeopardise the safety of the fans, the crews, the bands and myself as a result of the methods of these particularly draconian authorities. We hope to find another way to play for you in the future." Supervisor of liquor licensing and inspection for the state Department of Public Safety JEFF AUSTIN said state law prohibits performers from drinking while on stage and prohibits employees at establishments with liquor licenses from drinking on the job. He adds, "It's been on the books for years."