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SoulMonster

1992.08.28 - Interview with Gilby in Lakeland Ledger

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1992.08.28 - Interview with Gilby in Lakeland Ledger Empty 1992.08.28 - Interview with Gilby in Lakeland Ledger

Post by Soulmonster on Tue May 06, 2014 9:26 am

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Transcript:

Maybe they should be renamed Guns N' Tears. For the past year, nothing has gone right for Guns N' Roses. Oh, sure. They've sold more than 37 million albums worldwide. they've won Grammys. MTV Video Music Awards — and they're stinking rich…

But, oh. the scandals. Oh. the riots. Oh, the canceled play dates. Oh, the grief.

Oh. the lawsuits.

When asked about the band's sorrows, Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke moans.

"Yeah, we've had a lot of bad luck. but people don't realize that the last few shows were canceled because of James Hetfield's injury," he explains in a recent telephone interview.

"Metallica was halfway through that Montreal set when the flash pot blew up on him. We were still back at the hotel, and they called us and told us that the fans would have to wait four hours if we came on at the time scheduled. So we rushed around, threw everything together and raced over to the stadium, only to find out that the whole P.A. system was screwed up.

"We all tried, and Axl — whose voice had been bothering him — really tried, but the sound couldn't be salvaged. The fans were getting this half Metallica set, a Guns N' Roses set they couldn't hear — they weren't getting their money's worth. So we announced they'd get their money back and we'd play the date again."

Clarke says the band didn't even know there was a riot until much later, and expresses exasperation that Guns N' Roses got the blame for it.

"It's ironic, since we were trying to save the day. Oh, well." But Montreal wasn't exactly the first scandal for the Gunners. As fans of Guns N' Roses know, Axl Rose is currently out on bond on charges stemming from a riot in St. Louts last year, when he leaped off stage and got down 'n' dirty with a videotaping fan. He later outraged America's "family values" by going public in Rolling Stone magazine with accounts of the sexual abuse and batterings he suffered as a child — at the hands of his father.

Slash, the snarly-haired lead guitarist whose face has been hidden from public view for yea these many years, made the tabloids when he and a porno star allegedly "did the nasty" on a barroom floor — in front of scandalized (or titillated) patrons.

Clarke laughs uproariously when asked about this Incident. "Total fiction" he manages to get in, be.tween guffaws. "That club owner and Slash had some sort of disagreement, so the club owner released this story to get even and everyone picked it up and ran with it, adding embellishments along the way. And yes. It's a pretty hilarious story, but Slash's girlfriend, Rene, wasn't laughing. Neither was Slash. He's marrying Rene soon, and that was the last thing he needed her to read."

Clarke goes on to say that with a band as famous as Guns N' Roses, stories like this have a may of getting printed before anyone bothers to double check the facts.

"And once it begins snowballing, the damage is done. It can't be controlled," Clarke says. "But Axl's usually the main victim of that sort of thing. People just love to jump on him, poor guy. And he's usually innocent. Just try living your entire life under a microscope the way he does. Nobody's perfect every day, but not everyone's being followed around by cameras and reporters, either."

And about Axl's soul-baring interview, Clarke says, "The band knew about it, but that was a personal decision made by Axl. It took guts, and he thinks it helped him explain himself to the rest of the world. And if you read the letters to the editor the next month you'll see that he did a lot of good. Other people who had suffered from the same thing started going out and getting treatment."

Clarke sounds unusually genial, sympathetic and open for a bad-rep Gunner — and it is exactly those qualities that got him signed by the band last year, as a replacement for Izzy Stradlin.

Stradlin, the guitarist who shocked delicate sensibilities by urinating in the aisle of an air-plane in full view of passengers, left the band without notice last September.

"I'd known lay and Axl both in the early years," explains Clarke. "We used to jam together in Los Angeles in the lean years, and when Izzy left, I was the only guitarist they called to audition."

That audition — which turned into a weeklong audition — had its unusual moments.

"People were going. 'Hey. what'd Izzy play?" And then someone else would answer, 'I don't know. I never listened!'". Clarke says and laughs. "It was crazy, wild. But we all got along, and it was a real nice feeling. Of course, I had two weeks to learn 50 songs! It was a miracle we ever managed that first concert together — two weeks later — but we did."

How does Clarke get along with the temperamental Axl Rose? Ask him and be is as forthright and genial as ever.

"Axl and I are both from the Midwest, and we probably have more in common musically than the other members of the band," he says. "We both grew up listening to all those same silly '70s songs. And be never rides me —maybe because he thinks if he's mean to me I'll leave."

Clarke begins laughing again obviously not intimidated by the rich and famous. But then again, Clarke is now famous. and it he manages to stay with Guns N' Roses, he will almost certainly become rich himself. So there.

There is one Guns N' Roses scandal that has touched even the affable Clarke. When it is brought up, he at first pretends be can't remember. "I performed in the nude? Are you sure?"

Then he begins to snicker as the interviewer reminds him that when Guns N' Roses played the Valley last year, the boys in the band came out on the stage stark naked.

"Phoenix? Naked? Oh, now I remember!" he says, with great, exaggerated innocence "That was the last time Soundgarden was opening for us, and we were losing them. So we wanted to play some kind of a prank, but we didn't want it to be one of those old cliche pranks. Next thing you know, we were taking our clothes off and running out during their set."

Some Guns N' Roses modesty was maintained, however. The Gunners were hugging big, inflatable "love dolls."

"Axl didn't do it, but not because he was chicken. He'd just arrived at the place just in time to see us do our thing." Clarke explains. "But I'll tell you who chickened out. Matt did. Print that. Matt chickened out. Hah!"

Clarke admits he's glad to get back on the road.

"Metallica's got a replacement guitarist, Axl's voice is great — we're ready to rock 're roll," he says.

"And we've got the love dolls packed."

Is Metallica showing up metal's bad boys?

Welcome to the jungle, indeed.

The highly anticipated Guns N' Roses/ Metallica /Faith No More tour opened July 17 at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, and the resulting show was a blitzkrieg bacchanal that combined explosive performances with food fights and a sordid burlesque.

Headliner Guns N' Roses took more than 90 minutes to set up, which was more than enough time for the restless throng of concertgoers to make mischief. Fans pelted each other with cups, food and toilet paper during the lengthy lull.

Then matters got even weirder. Encouraged by catcalling male fans, some women exposed themselves for the big-screen television cameras.

But not everyone was amused by the debauchery or Guns N' Roses' tardiness. Some fans had to leave the stadium early to catch the last trains out on D.C.'s efficient Metro rail system.

"I don't feel I got my money's worth because of Guns N' Roses," said 16-year-old Sean Kelly of Gaithersburg, Md., who only got to see 15 minutes of the band's set before having to head out to catch his train.

Those who could stay were treated to the usual uneven Guns N' Roses set. The band started out with focused, blazing interpretations of "It's So Easy" and "Mr. Brownstone."

Singer Axl Rose, who briefly was taken Into custody for allegedly inciting a riot during a St. Louis performance last year, defended himself in often vulgar term. He also offered his views about the coming trial in October.

"I'm fightin' for what I believe in," Rose said.

Manic renditions of "Civil War," "Night Train" and ''Bad Obsession" followed. Most interesting was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it rendition of the Misfits' obscure favorite, "Attitude," sung by bassist Duff McKagan.

But things began to deteriorate midway through the set. The momentum was severely diminished by lengthy and pointless solos by guitarists Slash and Gilby Clarke, as well as drummer Matt Sorum.

The band never regained its footing, and the crowd slowly thinned. Some of the remaining fans were spied sleeping or just sitting, bored expressions on their faces. If Guns N' Roses isn't careful this tour could sound the band's death knell. As comparatively sluggish sales of the band's two current albums suggest, fans may be growing weary of Rose's brattiness.

Unlike Guns N' Roses. Metallica seems fully aware that this tour presents a marvelous opportunity. In a performance that could only be compared to Attila the Hun's tour of Mongolia, Metallica storm-trooped its way into the hearts of the DC crowd.

Ten years after its independently-released debut album emerged on an unsuspecting pop-music scene, Metallica continues to perform with tooth-gnashing intensity. The Washington set was simply superb, more than 90 minutes of nonstop musical mayhem

Lyrically speaking, Metallica Is nowhere near as compelling as Guns N' Roses. In fact. Metallica's lyrics often read like bad high-school poetry. But musically the band goes toe-to-toe with any heavy-metal act, and that savage melodicism proved to be the linchpin of Friday's performance.

Jumping, running and flailing about, the band delivered its bludgeoning music with brute abandon. Massive television screens captured shots of drummer Lars Ulrich violently pounding away. Metallica's music may be almost laughably pessimistic, but it is performed with undeniable purpose.

Faith No More delivered a set that was energetic. but ultimately confounding. The band ambitiously stewed rap, heavy metal and absurdist pop influences, but the experimentation resulted in an infuriating, sputtering performance.

All in all, this tour seems poorly organized. In festival situations such as this it is customary for bands to share the same lighting and staging. But Metallica and Guns N' Roses are touring with separate stages, which forces long set-up times, prompts audience restlessness and invites the sort of debauchery witnessed here. Considering Guns N' Roses' love of anarchy the band probably wouldn't have it any other way.
Soulmonster
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