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SoulMonster

Izzy Stradlin

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Izzy Stradlin

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:02 am


IZZY STRADLIN


Pseudonyms/former names/real name:
Jeffery Dean Isbell.

Date of birth:
April 8, 1962.

Band position:
Founding member, rhythm guitar, vocals, background vocals.

Time with Guns N' Roses:
1985-1991.


Shows with the band:
{IZZYSHOWS}
Biography:
Jeffrey Dean Isbell (born April 8, 1962), better known by his stage name Izzy Stradlin, is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is best known as the co-founder and former rhythm guitarist of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses, which he left at the height of its fame in 1991, and with whom he recorded three studio albums.

Following his departure from the band, Stradlin' fronted his own band Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds, before continuing to record as a solo artist. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Guns N' Roses in 2012. [Wikipedia, August 2016].

Quotes:
Izzy was the drummer in a band called The Babysitters. He wore a dress, and I think somebody beat his ass, so he joined this band called Shire, which was a Scorpions kind of metal band. That's when I became friends with him [The Days of Wine and Roses, Classic Rock, April 2005]
Izzy was playing with my singer’s brother’s band called, Shire. He was the bass player, and I met him at a Shire show. We became best friends right away, and he moved into my mom’s house, where I was living. [Tales From The Stage, February 2013]
I was one of Izzy's first friends when he came to L.A. [...] Izzy was a drummer back then. We had another friend called Chris and thought about doing a band together and stuff. [...] No, I never played with Izzy, he wasn't a very good drummer [laughs] [Making fucking videos, 1991?]
Izzy and I were very systematic about how we would play in the band together. It was really fun structuring the L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose songs for two guitars. We'd spend a lot more time making two really different guitar parts and two different guitar sounds. More than anything it was an incredible experience. That's when I really learned how to play with another guy. Izzy's so talented - not like a real master and he's definitely not a shredder - but he's just got a brilliant brain for music [Giving It Both Barrels: Dr Rock Takes On Tracii Guns Of The LA Guns , June 2010]
[Izzy] was the silent controller [of early GN'R], and I was the vocal one. You know, it was like he'd say: Trace -- you know, I got this idea. You know, what do you think about this? And, you know, blah blah blah. And I'd go: Well, you know, that's all right. But if we do this, it might make it a little harder, or a little cooler [Spin Magazine, Outtakes from the Axl Rose Issue, 1999]
First meeting: I was working in the Hollywood Store the day a slinky guy dressed like Johnny Thunders came up to me. He was wearing tight black jeans, creepers, dyed black hair, and pink socks [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York]
In front of the hotel was a pay phone. On evening, walking out with my belly filled with the meal of the day, I saw a guy doing business on the phone - a guy dressed like Johnny Thunders. Taking a second glance, I recognized the guy. It was Izzy Stradlin. We had met a few weeks prior, when we both turned up at the same guy's place on the same night. It could have been awkward, but we both shrugged it off and started talking about music. Izzy was into Thunders, Hanoi Rocks, Fear - the rough "street" acts I also preferred to the technical polish of metal. He reminded me of some of the cooler figures I had known back home, and I ended up giving him a ride to some other girl's house later that night. We exchanged phone numbers and that was it. Now here he was on my block.

It turned out Izzy had just moved in across the street. I knew the alley behind Izzy's place was really bad - full of hookers and drug dealers. Shit went down there all the time. What I didn't realize was that Izzy's place was in the back of the building and that he sold heroin out his back window.

Izzy was pretty much strung out the whole time. But he wasn't sloppy, not nodding out. He was a "maintenance guy," meaning he did just enough heroin to stave off withdrawal. As we got to know each other, for some reason I was able to look past his smack habit. It part it was because he handled him so well. IN part it was because we bonded over a mutual love of Johnny Thunders - alone in L.A., musical touchstones, it seemed, could trump something that months before in a different setting would likely have snuffed out any budding friendship. In part it had to do with his drive and determination
[Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 47-48]
We see each other walking down the street, and I think he saw me carrying a bass and he goes, "Me and a buddy of mine [Axl] just got a band together. Do you wanna play bass? [...] I dug Izzy's whole vibe [Guitar For The Practising Musician, April 1992]
One day in February 1985, as I was coming home from work, I ran into Izzy. he told me he was starting a new band with a couple of guys from L.A. Guns [...]. They were calling the new group Guns N' Roses. [...] Don't you play bass?" he asked me. "I own a bass," I said [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 57-58]
In 1984, Izzy Stradlin lived in an apartment across the street from me in Hollywood, right behind the Chinese Theater off Hollywood Boulevard. The man seemed to ALWAYS have an acoustic guitar in his hands, and was always writing bits and pieces of songs. He still does this today [Reverb, Seattle Weekly, October 2010]
Izzy was like Johnny Thunders living across the street from me. Just cool as [expletive] [Youngstown News, April 2012]
Izzy was more in my vein; he was more punk rock. I'd never hung around anybody my age with long hair and who was into Wasp and bands like that. It was all kind of a learning experience for me [Reckless Road, 2010]
[...] he wasn't a great guitar player, but I liked that - both in him and in general. I wasn't a great guitar player, either. It was a punk thing. One night we were talking after a rehearsal, Izzy mentioned a band called Naughty Women. It rang a bell. "I know that band," I said, trying to place the name. "I think I played a gig with them once. wait, wait, wait. Were they...cross-dressers?" "Yep," Izzy said. He paused. "I was the drummer," he said. Cool, I thought., this guy really was a veteran of the punk-rock club scene. He was the real deal [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 58-59]
Izzy looked like a young Ron Wood, with that gaunt, angular cut to his face, perfectly framed by straight black hair that hugged his jawline, making his face look even more thin and elongated. He was into heroin, just like Ron Wood and Keith Richards, his heroes in The Rolling Stones (...). He had thick-soled platform shoes and always wore black pants with some sort of super-tight shirt. He looked more like his shadow than himself and to me he was the personification of cool. Izzy and I hit it off right from the start. We each saw something in the other: perhaps it was just the way we talked about music. Izzy was the consummate rhythm guitarist. I loved the solid power chords he built into Rose's songs ["My Appetite for Destruction", 2010]
It was also clear that Izzy would do whatever it took [to succeed], heroin habit or not [Duff's Autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 59]
I liked Izzy. He was, after all, the first guy I met and I enjoyed his style and admired his talent [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York]
Izzy brought a no-pretense rock vibe - Stones, Faces. New York Dolls, Hanoi Rocks [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 96]
When we first met we didn't click musically at all. lzzy and Axl had a band together. I wanted to get Axl and I didn't want to work with another guitar player because I'd never done it before. Working with other guitar players. I couldn't be in control of what was happening on the guitar. I wanted to get Axl away from lzzy, which was impossible. At the time when I met Axl we started a band and lzzy was in it, but he split to join a band called London. which I had just quit. That was cool, so me and Axl had a band going. That broke up. Eventually Axl joined L.A. Guns. Then lzzy joined L.A. Guns because everybody just wanted to be in a band and be working. That didn't work out and I got this call that said, do you want to come back and play with us? At first I didn't want to do it because me and Axl had been through some bad times together. I did it and worked with lzzy because that's what was happening. It was the only band I could find that I could relate to. If you listen to the record, me and lzzy don't play anything alike. Our sound is completely different. He doesn't play lead hardly at all, but his rhythm style is cool. I was a lot heavier than he was. But we worked it out and it wasn't even a conscious thing. We just played together and eventually got better and better and now we sort of jell more [Guitar For The Practising Musician, September 1988]
Introducing Izzy from stage: My co-partner is crime for the last 15 years! [Pittsburgh Civic Arena, USA, August 1988]
Recounting early days hanging out in GN'R: "Izzy's just Izzy," I'd say, and we'd all nod. Izzy ended up popping in about half the time. Again, there was no pattern, no agenda ["My Appetite for Destruction", 2010]
As 1986 wore on, Slash, Steven and Izzy were in a constant cycle of cleaning up and going back out on the dope. It was hard to watch sometimes, but we were young ad they held it together for the most part for the sake of the band - nothing was more important to us [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 116]
Izzy was right in the middle between Slash and I. Musically he helped set the balance between punk and hard rock [Reckless Road, 2010]
Izzy has always been the kind of guy with somewhere else that he needed to be [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York]
Now I know that bolting is Izzy's defense mechanism when he thinks things aren't quite right: he never makes a show of it, he just slips out and won't look back. (...) Izzy always maintained an aura of cool; he was never ruffled, he never let his guard down. But when I asked him about [Axl firing Chris Weber from Hollywood Rose without talking to Izzy about it], he leveled a deahtly serious gaze at me, so I had no doubt that he was sincere. "It's pretty fucking simple," he said. "I just don't like being dictated to under any circumstances." [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York]
When we did score, Izzy and I wrote a lot because back then heroin was a great catalyst for us. I thought it was the coolest of all drugs because it made me feel really at ease with everything; it melted away my inhibitions and insecurities. On smack, I was cool and confident so collaborating was easy. As soon as we'd get high, Izzy and I would start jamming and working out ideas, just trading riffs and chords back and forth. Something always seemed to come out of it naturally, it seemed so inspired [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York. p. 152-153]
About Izzy's contributions to Appetite for Destruction: Izzy's stuff was one take - there's no way he was going to come down and rerecord it, and he didn't have to: his playing is so here and there, just the essence of great rhythm guitar playing, that spending too much time on it, or recording it on top of the live track, is just silly. Basically, what Izzy played was the simple heart of the songs, no matter who wrote them; if everything else was taken off one of our songs, you'd hear the grace of Izzy's simple scratch rhythms (...) Izzy played all around the riffs that I'd be playing beside Duff: he and I would do Led Zeppelin-style single.note riffs while Izzy brought simple chords patterns that fell around the beat instead of on it. For every downbeat, Izzy had an upbeat. It made for a pretty complex-sounding rock-and-roll band, but at its core it was very simple executed [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York. p. 172]
Izzy got really drunk downing beers backstage while we were waiting to go on [at L'Amour in Brooklyn, October 29, 1987]. But he remained cool in his own way - Izzy was always funny like that. The night he let on like nothing was wrong, spending the entire show sitting on the tiny ledge between the top and bottom cabinet of his rig. It was hilarious to watch [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York. pp225-226]
Recounting a scare that got Izzy clean: Izzy got so shook up too even talk about it. He just called his dad, who came out from Indiana, and took him back home, and that's how and where Izzy got clean. He's been clean ever since [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York, p.258]
On writing and rehearsing for Use Your Illusion: Duff and I were intent on drinking all the time and considered that normal because it never interfered with work, but we were so ferocious about it outside of rehearsal that it was off-putting to Izzy. He couldn't be around that kind of behaviour then and he's like that to this day. We weren't aware of it at the time, and even if we were, we might not have cared - all we knew was that he wasn't showing up to work and we couldn't accept that [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York, p.260]
On writing and rehearsing for Use Your Illusion: Axl did finally show up in Chicago. It was a little too late. He got there, got into a fight with a girl he had befriended, and trashed the place where we were living. That happened the day Izzy showed up. Already nervous because of his court-mandated sobriety, Izzy came upstairs, took one look at all the damage Axl had just wrought (not to mention the various powders all over the place), and hightailed it the fuck out of there. He would still send riffs and ideas for Use Your Illusion and didn't officially quit until 1991, but his day-to-day involvement with the band pretty much died that day [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 153]
Izzy had all but checked out [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 154]
Despite the work we needed to do to prepare for the [Rolling] Stones shows [in October 1989], Slash and Steven showed no sign of pulling out of their drug habits, and Izzy slipped back into heroin use, too. Sometimes those guys put their drug use in front of band practise. One or the other often showed up late or left early from rehearsal - if they showed up at all [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 156]
Izzy was gonna quit at one time because he didn't like the way people were reacting to [the lyrics of Appetite for Destruction] [Famous Last Words, MTV, 1990]
Izzy had gotten sober for good by this stage [late 1989], and he kept his distance from [Slash and I]. During the songwriting process [for Illusions], he would send us homemade cassette tapes of his songs and ideas. There was no animosity about his reluctance to come to rehearsals, and his songs - like 'Pretty Tied Up' and 'Double Talkin' Jive' - were great [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy, 2011, p. 162-163]
Izzy basically has five homes (?) and every time you're looking for Izzy you find he's in Mexico, or in London, or he drove to Texas or up in Yellowstone or something. He is always somewhere [Famous Last Words, MTV, 1990]
The problem was with Izzy. Because the album [the UYI's] reached such gargantuan proportions as far as the production and complexity and the massive expectations [that] Izzy started to bow out. He was harder to find, because that was against his rock 'n' roll philosophy, which I totally agree with. We got through the basic tracks and I think that's what gave the albums such a natural fee. But when we started getting into the time it took to do overdubs and vocals, he sorta disappeared [Double Vision, Total Guitar Magazine, July 2011]
Recounting the first rehearsals with Matt: Izzy was around, but not like he used to be. Not only was he 100 percent sober, he was also very much anti-alcohol and antidrugs at that point. When Izzy met Matt they got along fine, but it was under the condition that  the decision had already been made: it was all okay, but I think Izzy felt dictated to - and he hated that. Izzy was pretty fragile from the time he came back to the band until he left, and as I look back, this whole shift probably didn't sit entirely well with him [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York, p.311]
Izzy just doesn't dig [drugs] at all anymore. He don't dig the drinking, even [The Vox, 1991]
It's Izzy's goal to be Mr. Invisible [Guns N’ Roses – Outta Control; Rolling Stone September 5th 1991]
Izzy, unfortunately, was shell-shocked [from the Illusions tour]; he was trying his best to keep far away from our whole partying scene, so that tour from the start wasn't as much fun for him [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York, p.335]
Izzy's sobriety functioned only if he traveled separately and stayed in different hotels from us. I had gotten used to not having him around, but it was still a blow to the band. [...] The perception in popular culture is that the singer and the lead guitar player are generally the artistic brain trust of any band. In our case, Izzy was probably the most significant force - without his initial vision and his songwriting cues, there would have been no Guns N' Roses. He and I still had our time together on the right side of the stage. But those moments made me think Izzy was extremely uncomfortable with the way we were treating our fans [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 185]
We went on late [Mannheim, Germany, on August 21, 1991] - late even for us - then, pretty early in the set, something happened and Axl walked off for what reason I have no idea. (...) He went to to the van and headed off to the dressing room. "Fuck that guy," [Matt] said. "I'm gonna go straighten him out." Matt felt that Duff and Izzy and I had played it too delicate with Axl for too long (...). By this point we'd discovered that Axl's van had not left for the dressing room; he was sitting in it but refused to come out and return to the stage. So Matt went down to Axl's van to rally him, but as he got down there, he ran into Axl, who had emerged to head back to the stage. "What the fuck are you doing?" Matt yelled. "Get back onstage!"(...) Axl went back to his van, and it didn't look like he was coming out again. (...) The local police were already there in riot gear, ready to deal with a full-on situation. It was a scary, tense scene, and a very near miss. We got Axl back onstage once he realized he had no choice, and the rest of the show went as planned. All I remember thinking as I walked offstage after the encore was 'Fuck, that was close.' Well, too close, as it turned out: by the next morning, Izzy sent a message through Alan [Niven] informing  us that he was quitting the band [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York, p.343-344]
There were certain things we weren't getting from Izzy that we really wanted, and everybody was like giving a certain amount, and we felt that everybody should give energy in a certain way to Guns N' Roses, and we weren't getting that [The making of November Rain, 1991?]
I knew now [after Mannheim, Germany, August 24, 1991] that Izzy was definitely going to quit, but nobody knew for sure when he would actually leave us. Izzy didn't walk away and force the cancellation of the Wembley show [August 31, 1991]. He stayed and played one last gig to draw the curtains on this leg of the tour [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 194]
I could see right there and then [when the Oslo gig in August, 1991, was cancelled because Axl was in France] that Izzy wasn't going to last. The cadence of his walk was different now: I saw it clearly as the lurch of a bicycle with a misshapen wheel. His face was drawn, his eyes blank, his body language exhausted. He had made it with us, sober, touring. But he couldn't stand pissing off the fans an torturing the crew. He had to confront that reality sober. And at the same time he had to deal with Slash, Matt, and me trying to bury our frustrations by obliterating ourselves with drunk and drugs. It was only a matter of time now [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 191]
Izzy completed the tour, and I tried to talk him out of leaving a few times, but at the same time I couldn't blame him at all. "Hey, man, I know it's been hard, but I think we can turn it around," I remember telling him, "The shows are really great, man. The audiences are great, we're playing stadiums..." "I know," he said. "But, man, I can't...I just can't do it anymore." The way he looked at me at that moment said it all [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York, p.344]
We don't work out our parts. If it's Izzy's song I might turn the riff around  a little bit and add something. But he'll play his part the way he wrote it - very loose, very Stonesy. When it comes to my tunes, I write riffs that are a lot more intricate - that's my style. So he just takes his style and and adds it to my riffs. Usually, for every five notes on that side [points left and chuckles]. [...] Izzy keeps it loose; he's got a great rhythm style [Slash - The Hands Behind The Hype, Guitar Player, December 2012]
Being asked if he is tripping out because Izzy wasn't there for the making of the 'Don't Cry' video: No, I am not really tripping out right now, because I am like, "Izzy's cool." Izzy's always been the fastest person in Guns N' Roses to decide what it is they want to do, and what it is they're going to do. So whatever Izzy is doing, or whatever he is not doing, is cool. I just want the guy to be happy and that makes me feel happy, you know, makes me feel good inside [Making Fucking Videos, 1992].
[...] We just came to the conclusion that Izzy wasn't putting in the time we thought was necessary for the good of the band. It had been building up for a long time. And finally Izzy came out in the open with me and Axl and said he didn't want to deal with the work that was involved. So we decided to work with someone else [...] I just can't understand how he could let something like this fall apart. I mean the guy didn't want to tour or do videos; he hardly wanted to record. I just never thought he was one of those guys that this would happen with [Guitar World, February 1992]
Izzy resigned from Guns on November 7, 1991, because his heart wasn't in it. He's just not interested anymore. It was one of those things where he just didn't want to tour again. Izzy's been keeping himself more or less clean for quite a while now, and the chaos of being on the road, especially with the rest of us driving him crazy, he just couldn't deal with it. He's been 110% sober for the past two years, and even though I'm not shooting up or anything anymore. I'm still a nutcase when it comes to extracurricular activities. He tried to come back though. He came to a couple rehearsals, but he really wasn't there. He didn't care. His heart wasn't in it. Izzy's still gonna write with us, and he might make a few special appearances on the road, but he's no longer a touring member of the band. As for me, personally, I'd rather Izzy be happy. And this is what he wants [Guns N' Roses From The Inside An exclusive report by Lonn M. Friend; RIP March 1992]
I'm no longer working with Izzy, and people have written about how that went down. [Axl laughs] They weren't around. They didn't see it. They didn't know. They didn't know how painful that experience was. They had no clue. But yet, I was just a dick. [Axl laughs] I just went off on Izzy. You know, he tried to talk to me nicely and l went off. That's not how it went down. It was funny: when Bruce Weber was taking the photos of Stephanie and l for this article, that's when l got the call that Izzy was leaving the band. Bruce was taking photos and I was standing there crying. l was blown away. (...) Stephanie was helping to comfort me. We didn't go, "Well, let's hug and kiss for the photos." She was comforting me -- my friend of fifteen years was leaving [Interview Magazine talks to Axl Rose, 1992]
l feel like he shit all over me, and I wiped it off and ain't too happy that it happened. l think for a long period of time Izzy wanted to be more independent, but Guns N' Roses took off fast, and he was such a part of it, it was hard to take that step. That's my opinion. There are certain responsibilities to Guns N' Roses that Izzy didn't want to face. He basically didn't want to work as hard at certain things as we did. He pretty much just showed up before we went on onstage, would get upset that l wasn't on time, played, then split. There were times when we'd get off stage, and five minutes later he was gone. He didn't socialize with the band on any level, and he had a real problem being sober and being around us. Izzy's always been very compulsive and impulsive, and although he's quit abusing various substances, he still hasn't gotten to the base of the reason why he was abusive. (...) Getting Izzy to work hard on the album was like pulling fucking teeth. Everybody dreaded it. Nobody would go by the studio while he was there, because no one wanted to deal with it. He'd play something out of key, and we'd ask him to do it again, and he'd be like, "Why? l just did it." (...) There are ways that miss him and wish it could've gone on, but he was a real fucking asshole to me. I was always a massive Izzy fan and supporter, but now that he's working with Alan Niven [former GNR manager], fuck him -- and you can print this. Even if we work things out between us, l won't regret what's coming out in this interview, because it's how l feel. I'm glad we got the songs out of him that we did, and I'm glad he's gone ["I, Axl" Del James, RIP Magazine - 1992]
On being questioned why Izzy left the band: To get a clear answer, you'd have to ask Izzy. My personal belief is that Izzy never really wanted something this big. There were responsibilities that Izzy didn't want to deal with. He didn't want to work at the standards that Slash and I set for ourselves (...) He didn't want to do videos. He just wasn't into it. Getting Izzy to work on his own songs on this record was like pulling teeth. When Izzy had 'em on a four-track, they were done. I mean, I like tapes like that, but we'd just get destroyed if we came out with a garage tape. People want a high-quality album. And it was really hard to get Izzy to do that, even on his own material. Izzy's songs were on the record because I wanted them on the record, not because Izzy gave a shit either way. If people think I don't respect Izzy or acknowledge his talent, they're sadly mistaken. He was my friend. I haven't always been right. Sometimes I've been massively wrong, and Izzy's been the one to help steer me back to the things that were right. But I know that I wanted to get as big as we possibly could from Day One, and that wasn't Izzy's intention at all. I think he's ready to do like an X-Pensive Winos (Keith Richards's band) thing. So maybe the world'll get another really cool band. I know that I'll be trying to get an advance tape, just like everybody else [Axl Rose: The Rolling Stone Interview; Rolling Stone, April 1992]
We were filming 'Don't Cry,' and he had to be there. Instead, he sent a really short, cold letter and didn't show up. We got this letter saying, "This changes, this changes, and maybe I'll tour in January." And they were ridiculous demands that weren't going to be met. I talked to Izzy for four and a half hours on the phone. At some points, I was crying, and I was begging. I was doing everything I could to keep him in the band. There were stipulations, though. If he was going to do like the old Izzy did, he wasn't going to make as much money. It was like "You're not giving an equal share." Slash and I were having to do too much work to keep the attention and the energy up in the crowd. You're onstage going, "This is really hard, and I'm into it and I'm doing it, but that guy just gets to stand there" [Axl Rose: The Rolling Stone Interview; Rolling Stone, April 1992]
It was always kind of a triad between Slash, Izzy and me. And when Izzy wasn't so much being a part of that triad, Doug Goldstein, our manager, kind of took his place. As far as keeping Guns N' Roses going and figuring out what we're doing, Izzy really wasn't that much involved anymore. He wrote songs, but those songs were on the record because I wanted them on the record and because the band agreed to learn them and liked them and we all worked on them. I really believed in Izzy. I was an Izzy fan for 15 years and I wanted his songs to be a part of this project. But it was like pulling teeth to make that happen. A lot of people might have liked the way Izzy was standing there onstage and it was kind of cool, but the truth of the matter was that Izzy wasn't handling any of the weight [Shadow Boxing with Axl Rose, June 1992]
I saw him for the first time here in New York, we met in a neutral place, a neutral hotel [laughs]. It was great because there is so much red tape and so much politics involved. You don't communicate at all, there are people you go through, you know, management calls so and so and so and so, calls the accountant, messages go back and forth. Everything snowballs. And you get to a point where it's so out of hand this whole split that I can admit we like hated Izzy. Because he wouldn't deal with us directly, he didn't quit directly. He sent out a memo, or a letter of resignation, to the accountants, the management and stuff, and we were just like...because we felt closer than that. [...] We got a chance to actually talk about a lot of the personal things that we felt, in all of this, you know, Guns N' Roses hype and hysteria, because, like band members, we never felt part of it. It was built up around us. And it got to a point where he didn't want to be involved in the amount of work that took, and the amount of stress and energy and sleepless nights it took to keep it going so it didn't fall apart. He just bailed and we took that really personally, but having seen him recently, it was...I missed the guy. It was nice t actually see him. And we talked about how we want to make this a clean break without going to court, without having to make it, you know, insanely public, and bicker back and forth in the press which is really easy because attorneys are gonna send out letters and they print them in the press and we, the members of the band, see it and go, "How could he say that?", and it's not what came out of his mouth. And that builds up after a while and you tend to misjudge someone altogether. I mean, as long as he is happy it's cool, and as long as we have an amicable split on the technical side then everything will be fine [MTV?, 1992]
Izzy wanted the financial rewards and the power rewards of my vision. Izzy's vision was much smaller [Shadow Boxing with Axl Rose, June 1992]
I love the guy dearly, so I don't want to belittle his character by saying anything about him. But he just got sick and tired of dealing with everything. I think more than anything he didn't want to do the amount of work that Guns N' Roses has to do to keep it together.

I totally sold my soul to this thing, but Izzy wasn't that way. He didn't want to do videos or spend all those hours in the studio, and slowly but surely he started to drop out.

at all. In fact, I was really happy because I could never understand what was going on with him. Like even on stage, he would just sort of stand there--and that was the only time I'd see him on the road because he traveled separately. When he finally left, it was like a relief because there had been no communication at all. [Los Angeles Times, August 1992]
I met [Izzy] around 1984, shortly after he moved to Hollywood, and we really hit it off. We were part of a small group of Keith Richard fanatics who were somewhat alienated from L.A.'s heavy metal scene. [...] Izzy and I eventually lost contact [...] but the next thing I knew, he was in the hottest band in Los Angeles - Guns N' Roses. When I was in town, I went to see GN'R every chance I could because I wanted to support Izzy [Guitar World, November 1992]
[...] Nobody really seemed to know what Izzy played. I would perform something, and Slash would say, "I thought you knew this tune," and I'd argue that I did. And then he'd say "No, you don't You are playing my part!" And then we'd realize that you couldn't really hear Izzy's part on some of the songs. So the we had to try to reconstruct his parts the best we could. Dudd knew what Izzy had played more than anyone, so I leaned on Duff a lot. [...] I think they were giving me stuff to play that they always wanted to hear, but Izzy would never do. So my rhythm part is a combination of Izzy's original ideas, some of my ideas and a few additional ideas provided by the band [Guitar World, November 1992]
When they tried guitarists Izzy called and asked who was gonna replace him. When they answered it was going to be me he said that he was happy. We respect each other very much and I'm not gonna take anything from him. Izzy made sure this group got on the map and what he's done is totally incredible. I'm after Izzy. [...] Rolling Stones reached a certain level and then Ron Wood came and they continued with him. The same thing is valid for me. I'm not gonna prove that I'm a better guitarist then Izzy. I could never have done as much for this band, as Izzy has brought about, if I had been in his place from the beginning. I'm after Izzy. End of story [Heavy Mental, 1992]
After, after the whole drug period… Um, I think everybody went in their own directions. And as far as dealing with getting off the drugs, everybody had their own approach. And from the time that we'd more or less quit, you know, dope and stuff. Um, Izzy had more or less lost interest in… I don't know if he lost interest or, I mean there could have a lot of phases, and I don't wanna, you know, put Izzy's personality into one little sentence. But what it seemed to me was that he'd lost interest in doing the work that was involved. He didn't feel comfortable with all the other guys. Because we'd all gone through this massive emotional experience in trying to get ourselves out of the slum. And he just didn't wanna run with the ball anymore. So, when we finally did get through that whole period and we, we got into the studio he wasn't that interested. He didn't have that much input, as far as recording and all that was concerned. And that was a really stressful time for the entire band anyway. And we went out on tour, and he finally quit. And the time that he was on tour, right before he quit, I was just really pissed off. Because it seemed like he'd show up and he would stand on the stage, for the alotted two and a half, three hours. And then, you know, split. I felt for that whole period of time that he was on stage, he really didn't wanna be there [Civil War Single / Making Fuckin' Boxes, March 1993]
I’ve never had a problem with Izzy. Izzy and I are very amicable and always have been. He had his reasons, and they were very valid. I’m not one to go, Fuck you, man! I could tell he was just miserable. I knew it wasn’t his bag, and it was killing him. He was all clean and sober, and no way I would’ve wanted to have any part in making him stay in the band, and driving him back to whatever he was doing. So, between him and me there was never a problem [Kerrang, April 1993]
About The Spaghetti Incident?: I love recording like this. During Appetite..., Lies and Use Your... I had to put up with Izzy the whole time. I never liked playing with him. It was wonderful to escape him on this record. It sounds tighter and so much cooler than anything we've done before. I always got irritated over Izzy's way of playing. It didn't sound right. Before "Spaghetti", we erased his guitar and Gilby put on a new one. It sounded perfect! [Okej, November? 1993] [TRANSLATED FROM SWEDISH TO ENGLISH]
Izzy and I started out as neighbors who would take a city bus to get to a gig where we were the fourth band on a bill of four bands, just happy to be playing a gig with a band we believed in with everything we had. And we saw it through. Now [in May 1993] I looked at Izzy and recognized the clarity he had, the sense of purpose behind his decisions. Izzy had his feet beneath him and could walk away [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 220]
I really looked forward to playing with him again and really hoped that he had changed. I booked a place before the first gigs in Tel Aviv to rehearse. But Izzy thought it was unnecessary, that it was just wasted time. He hadn't changed one bit and therefore the gigs turned out the way they did. [...] Izzy simply doesn't like playing rock at the level where we are right no. We understand it no and I'm personally very fucking disappointed at his previous behavior [Metal Zone, December 1993]
Izzy basically left while we were recording the "...Illusion" records. He's not on half of those records. He hardly even played on his own songs! [Kerrang! January 1994]
So we managed to get on tour during the making of the '...Illusions' albums. Then we took one short break - and Izzy quit two weeks before the next leg of the tour was to start! Without talking t the guys i the band, he called management and the accountants' office. I'll never forgive for that, because I've known him for so long and we've been through so much together, blah, blah, blah [Kerrang! January 1994]
[The Spaghetti Incident?] was recorded the way I'd prefer to do any Guns N' Roses record. When we did Appetite and Use Your Illusion, I had to deal with Izzy. I never liked playing with Izzy the whole time I've been in this band. It was great not having to deal with him on this record. It sounds a lot tighter, or at least a little more cool than it sounded before. I always used to get bummed out about certain songs on Appetite that Izzy didn't play right. For this record, we took off all of Izzy's tracks and Gilby played them. I wasn't there when Gilby did it, but when I got the tapes back, it was a relief. It sounded perfect.[Guitar Player, January 1994]
It was my idea to call Izzy; I thought it would be interesting. I didn't know he hadn't picked up his guitar in the last fucking year! It was really nice at first, because regardless of whatever animosity, it wasn't anything so deep-rooted that it didn't blow over. So, we hung out, we went shopping in London together, we had fun. Then right towards the end he turned around and did certain things that were so fucked. Right towards the fifth date, because of his hand Gilby still wasn't sure if he was going to be able to play, and Izzy all of a sudden turned around and stabbed us in the back again, asked for an amazing amount of money to do one show - it's like, 'I can't believe this, go home!'. That's the last time we talked. I don't know what's going on in his head...I have this great photo of Gilby, Izzy and Ronnie Wood together - the flunkies from hell [Kerrang! March 1994]
And even before Izzy quit, he was pretty much phased out - he's even phased out of his own band. He's just not interested any more. But Izzy started to lose interest anyway, so that was another thing that made the record hard to make. Going on tour was… the band had such a ball, and we managed to tour for two and a half years against all the fuckin' odds. It really was a fuckin' endurance test, of pretty big proportions. [Q Magazine, March 1994]
Talking about being replaced by Izzy while recovering from broken arm: It was nice - as soon as I got home, Izzy called me and we talked for a while. He just did it to see the guys, cos he hadn't seen 'em in a while. And then it was funny because I had Izzy on one line going, `When are you coming back? I gotta get out of here!', and Slash was on the other line going, `When are you coming back. We gotta get him out of here!.' It was the funniest thing [War Of The Roses! (Gilby Clarke interview), Kerrang!, May 1994]
Since I couldn't play [because of a broken hand] it was intended that Izzy was going to take my place for the first five shows and then stay if he was needed. We didn't know if I could play, because I held a guitar for the first time exactly before my "first" gig. Izzy had promised to stay with us, but after Milton Keynes he said, "I call to see if you need me" and went off. Axl was really pissed. This is not my opinion, but what the others have told me - there was a lot of bad blood between Axl and Izzy and when they then sat down and talked everything was cool. They had fun together but as soon as Izzy had made his money he left. And now there's bad blood again [Gilby Clarke - A "Pawned" Rocker, Heavy Mental, June 1994]
Talking about Izzy replacing Gilby: "Fuck it," Axl said. "Let's call Izzy." I was surprised and happy to hear that Izzy went for it (...). Izzy showed up...with dreadlocks...and hadn't practised one song. So we did what we could [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York, p.369-370]
Being asked if Izzy would help to record things: Never again! No, not at all. We brought Izzy back in Europe when Gilby had hurt his arm. And then we kinda got blackmailed and we haven't… We really don't wanna have anything to do with Izzy ever since then [Axl and Slash interview, Rockline 1994]
We thought it was a good idea to, you know, call him up and see if he wanted to come down and hang out and do a couple of gigs. And then it turned sour at the end so… It took us right back to square one [Axl and Slash interview, Rockline 1994]
On rumours of Izzy returning to the band in 1995: Izzy agrees with writing stuff but he's not interested in touring... He doesn't want to deal with Axl y'know? The Rockstar thing... Like me, he just wanna play... We never thought GNR would become so big [Folha De Sao Paulo Journal 21st of July 1995]
Izzy quit Guns because of the same bullshit that sort of forced me to take off for a while. He's been writing; he wrote some stuff with Duff. He wants to write songs, but he doesn't wanna deal with the whole thing. And it took me a while to finally get to the point where I couldn't handle it either, y'know? He wants to write material, but he's not really sure what he wants to do. He's so laid back. He doesn't want to deal any pressure. Izzy does what he wants to do. As much as has gone on, and as much as I resent Izzy for quitting and all that, and leaving me in weird spots where I had to find a replacement weeks before the next leg of a tour, or if he didn't play on the "Use Your Illusion" records - which is for the most part true - looking back on it, Izzy's Izzy. I had to double guitars up for him on most of [Illusions]. He didn't play very much [Guns N' Roses: Is It All Over? Does Anyone Care? Metal Hammer November 1995]
We are real fast friends. By the way, when my pancreas fucked Izzy phoned too. We've always been friends and our friendship has gone beyond music. We've been through a lot of things together. I play in his records, which usually takes no more than two days. It's like "Here's the song, play, thank you" [Popular 1, July 2000]
Izzy went back to Indiana [Axl shakes his head in disbelief]. That pretty much explains the absurdity of the whole goddamn thing. The fucking idea of going back to Indiana - I am not even bagging on Indiana - I just know how much Izzy hated it. I went to high school with this guy. It's pitiful. It was the fame of the heroin addiction and the fear of death. When Izzy woke up in New York with EKG pads all over his body and doesn't know how they got there, and knows, 'I think I OD'd last night and made it back home' - that was pretty much it. Before that he was pulling away, but that was the end. Then when he got straight...I think it really has to do with what it takes to face that big audience. I wouldn't call it stage fright. It's something else, and to psyche yourself up for that, the old Guns doesn't seem to be able to do it without medication [Axl Speaks, Rolling Stone, January 2000]
On being asked if he's still friends with Izzy: As far as I know...actually, I wanted to get together with him to write some songs [Transcript of Slash online chat; Pepsi Live @ Ticketmaster Online, October 1996]
I never really have to go, "Izzy, play this part this way." He just plays his thing his own way, and we never really talk about it much. Last night, we went in and took two songs from scratch, just basic chord changes, and worked them into full songs. That's one of the things about me and Izzy working together, he knows where I'm at, and I know where he's at. And that's the way it's always been. I make up something that accompanies his part, and at the same time accents it, and he does the same with my parts. We have that kind of chemistry. We've always been good friends, so for us to get in a room and play is a very easy thing to do [Guitar One Magazine, 2002]
You know, I read something somewhere. Someone was writing an article about my other friends. And they wrote this thing about how 'in the old days, you know, there were lots of problems and technical errors of the band and Izzy couldn't hear himself' [laughing] The reason that Izzy couldn't hear himself - this isn't being mean - is our roadies would stand behind Izzy's amp, 'cause Izzy would be so whacked out of his mind that he would basically be playing a different song in the wrong key, and the only way we could do the songs was that every time he would go to him amps, he would turn his amps up and turn around to the crowd. When he would turn around to the crowd the roadie would reach around and turn his amps back down so that we could play the song. That worked especially well in Tel Aviv [laughter] Just a full tippit there for your Trivia Pursuit [Onstage Boston, December 2002]
From day one Izzy always wanted to be the size of Ramones and do about 2000 seaters. So there was always a little battle there. [Detroit Radio Interview, 2002]
He's so elusive, he'll pop up somewhere out of the blue, hang out intensely, then disappear for a couple of months [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York, p.428]
Dave [Kushner] and Izzy are the only two guitar players I really mesh with [Velvet Revolver, Total Guitar #121 April 2004]
Izzy is a good guy. My birthday was last week and he drove 11 hours from Baja to get to this party. He's just a straight-up good dude [Trasher Magazine, January 2005]
'Use Your Illusion' is...[sigh] basically Slash wanting to take over the band, Izzy being in his drug world, and the only way that we were able to even survive as a band was to make this double thing you know, like Slash's solo record, Izzy's solo record, and then I wrote stuff, but I mean, I had the phone calls of calling these guys going: "I'm not doing yours, if you don't do his!", and then calling Izzy and saying: "I'm not doing yours, if you don't do his! And I'm not doing either of yours, unless we do mine, and we'll do mine last!" But, it was that kinda fight for years. You know...[Eddie Trunk Interview, 2006]
Izzy does what Izzy does. I mean, it's like, you talk to Izzy one day and then you think hey we're gonna go over here to this record store but whatever. The next day you find out he's in Trinidad you know...or he's like, no I just had to go to the desert and do donuts in Nevada, you know. He races like hardcore racing trucks in Baha. He does stuff like that, so...[Eddie Trunk Interview, 2006]
Paraphrased: You have to understand that Izzy is one of those people that does whatever he wants. You know... when I joined the band, he sometimes... just didn't show up. Examples include during the recording of the music video for 'Don't Cry' and the music video for 'You Could Be Mine' at the end in the scene where the band exits the studio and sees Arnold. [we watch the 'You Could be Mine' music video and Dizzy comments... "hey... where's Izzy? o wait... yea, he wasn't there"] Obviously part of the reason that Izzy left might have been the fact that he and Axl didn't get along towards the end... but that's just part of it. I mean... about the Ju Ju Hounds... I have a friend who was the guitarist for that band back in the early 90s and he was always complaining about how Izzy would just not show up for shows. And... just as a musician... Izzy used to be a great songwriter - his contribution to Guns N' Roses first album are phenomenal. But, its almost like the guy has lost the fire... I mean I saw the guy a couple years back in the studio... and he was showing me a song he had just written called "Toothpuller" - it was literally about him visiting the dentist and getting a tooth pulled out. [Dizzy then sings some of the lyrics] I mean... this is a guy who wrote some badass songs and now he's writing about getting his tooth pulled... I mean come on... can you imagine Axl singing that live?' Yea... he's always doing that- he'd done it a few times actually. [i]No... I mean I'm not sure... the guy sort of just does his own thing... he did join us back during the Use Your Illusion tour briefly... Gilby had hurt himself and so he stepped in for a couple of dates... I mean, the guy's really weird is the best way to describe it... in '91, we were playing some shows in England... like one day we were having the times of our lives playing a sold-out Wembley and the next day... I talk to Izzy and he's like: "I'm leaving the band" and I'm like "what!?" and he's like: "Dizzy... I'm leaving the band." I personally don't understand him to any extent [Madagascar88, September 2005][/i]
He's a sweetheart. Had a lot of nice times with him, soft-spoken, nice good-hearted guy Smile
[REDDIT AMA, December 2013]
I also identify a lot with Izzy, personally and musically, and what he does, where he came from. And again, there's a lot of similarities, you know. When we are together, when we play together, we have a lot of fun playing old Stones's stuff, Aerosmith.. We came up with the same type of stuff. So I think I approach it in a similar way that he did. I tend to go for a lower gain type of sound, maybe a bit more vintage-y, than Slash's high gain sound, and I think that is where he just naturally went as well. So I think there are similarities in that. We also have similar taste in guitars, so in what we want to hear
[Reverb, August 2016].
[/center]



Last edited by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:16 am; edited 24 times in total
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by puddledumpling on Tue May 22, 2012 1:02 pm

Need IZ pics in here
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by puddledumpling on Tue May 22, 2012 1:05 pm

Some early career photos
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by Soulmonster on Tue May 22, 2012 6:03 pm

Yes! I'll upload a great one later
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:46 pm





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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:16 am







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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by puddledumpling on Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:17 pm

Have you noticed how many views this archive thread has?

Sure is nice to get current pics by the fabulous photographer Kat Benzova.
Need more archive IZ pics. I'll see what I can do, been collecting them for years.
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:18 pm

@puddledumpling wrote:Have you noticed how many views this archive thread has?

I just noticed. Izzy is a popular guy.
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by puddledumpling on Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:19 pm

I don't know how this guy who uploaded got this demo track but I thank him.
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:49 pm

Oh, that was great. I had never heard that before. I really like Izzy's way of playing rhythm, so uncomplicated but cool. I miss him.
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MTV (remember them?) interview release 1992

Post by puddledumpling on Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:19 am

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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by puddledumpling on Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:24 pm

fan site for Izzy besides beenafix.com

http://www.myspace.com/izzystradlinfansite
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by puddledumpling on Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:25 pm

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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:19 am

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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by puddledumpling on Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:44 am

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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by puddledumpling on Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:05 pm

@puddledumpling wrote:fan site for Izzy besides beenafix.com

http://www.myspace.com/izzystradlinfansite

message board beenafix.com is retiring end of this month - hosts/moderation moving on to focus on other things while remaining fans of Izzy Stradlin, naturally. New message board just beginning to form now,

http://www.shuffleitall.proboards.com

Hopefully it will get dressed up and approach the cool that beenafix has. Like beenafix, parts of the messageboard are public so membership is not required to check it out.

myspace.com/izzystradlinfansite, izzyontour.com and chopaway.com are still up and running and must see sites for any Ju Ju Hounds fans.
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by puddledumpling on Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:47 pm

fan at newgnr.com posted this fantastic picture so I thought to share it here. It shows up in the thread off center but the actual photo is well framed
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:14 pm

Thanks! It was a minor problem with the automatic resizing script. Should be fixed now.
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by puddledumpling on Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:13 am

I rarely find a pic of Izzy I haven't seen before - just found this so I'm posting a link
http://img2.bdbphotos.com/images/orig/1/2/12tmep20x7nv2pxt.jpg
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:25 am

@puddledumpling wrote:I rarely find a pic of Izzy I haven't seen before - just found this so I'm posting a link
http://img2.bdbphotos.com/images/orig/1/2/12tmep20x7nv2pxt.jpg

I am getting the following error message when I try to see the picture:

Forbidden

You don't have permission to access /images/orig/1/2/12tmep20x7nv2pxt.jpg on this server.

Crying or Very sad
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by puddledumpling on Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:28 am

@Soulmonster wrote:
@puddledumpling wrote:I rarely find a pic of Izzy I haven't seen before - just found this so I'm posting a link
http://img2.bdbphotos.com/images/orig/1/2/12tmep20x7nv2pxt.jpg

I am getting the following error message when I try to see the picture:

Forbidden

You don't have permission to access /images/orig/1/2/12tmep20x7nv2pxt.jpg on this server.

Crying or Very sad
Well now that is just mean. And I'm lazy - I should have put it in my picture host and linked it from there.
Let me try this in the meantime:
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Guitarras Izzy Stradlin

Post by puddledumpling on Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:12 am

Facebook site by Izzy Fuckin' Stradlin: photo album of the Guitars of Izzy Stradlin

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.460425760711621.1073741830.124303967657137&type=3

I wish there were more images and audio of Izzy using the Gretch instead of just posing with it. Anyone finds any please add links...
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by puddledumpling on Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:26 am



Shibuya Public Hall, Tokyo Japan - April 15, 2000: Tour following release of album Ride On in Japan.
I found this pic at a site selling fan made MP3 files per song of fan-made bootlegs.... !?!
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:43 pm

Izzy has opened a twitter account! Pretty special. downliner, who I believe admins chopaway confirms it is really Izzy.

Anyway, here are some of his tweets:

"At this point in time , I`ve no involvement in the upcoming April 2016 GNR shows ."

"Also,I have been writing but I have not been in the studio writing or recording with any of the GNR guys recently ."

"@greeneandy Hi Andy,its Izzy Stradlin .I`ve sent u e mail and I`ve opened twitter account @ IzzyStradlin999 to update people on April gigs"

"@CheapTrickRick Rick,Its Izzy . I bought a computer and opened a twitter account ! I`ve given up avocado farming and am writing again ."

So much here regarding the April shows, but what struck me the most is the fact that he has just bought a computer....and given up avocado farming.
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by Uli on Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:14 pm

@Soulmonster wrote:"Also,I have been writing but I have not been in the studio writing or recording with any of the GNR guys recently ."

Depends on how you define "recently", but weren't there news he'd recorded with Duff last year (one song was released to go along with Duff's latest book, but they were supposed to do more recording during the year)? Suspect
http://classicrock.teamrock.com/news/2015-08-06/mckagan-stradlin-in-studio-return

Still, the rumours keep floating:
http://tinyurl.com/zp3ko7k

Guns N’ Roses’ classic lineup is reuniting for a bunch of concerts this year; will they have new music to accompany their tour?

Sources close to the band think so. In a recent interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Slash’s former publicist Arlett Vereecke says the guitarist has been logging studio time, working on new Guns N’ Roses music.

Additionally, former GNR manager Alan Niven told the magazine that Duff McKagan and guitarist Izzy Stradlin got down “at leas a couple of tracks” during studio time last December.
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:43 pm

Izzy just posted this on his twitter:

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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by Uli on Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:53 am

Here's the full video:

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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:38 am

I just added this quote from an interview with Slash in January 1994, pretty damning.

Slash: It was recorded the way I'd prefer to do any Guns N' Roses record. When we did Appetite and Use Your Illusion, I had to deal with Izzy. I never liked playing with Izzy the whole time I've been in this band. It was great not having to deal with him on this record. It sounds a lot tighter, or at least a little more cool than it sounded before. I always used to get bummed out about certain songs on Appetite that Izzy didn't play right. For this record, we took off all of Izzy's tracks and Gilby played them. I wasn't there when Gilby did it, but when I got the tapes back, it was a relief. It sounded perfect.
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:20 pm

Izzy has commented on Twitter on why he is not part of the ongoing tour:

Bullshit They didn't want to split the loot equally . Simple as that . Moving right along........
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Re: Izzy Stradlin

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:41 pm

Great article on Izzy:

Art Tavana wrote:Where's Izzy: Searching for the GNR Reunion's Missing Person

Izzy Stradlin now lives where nothing moves. While his old gang reunites for a world tour, the co-founder of Guns N' Roses is semi-retired in California’s secluded Mayberry: the quaint Ojai Valley. He’s holed up there in a midcentury home hidden behind a wrought-iron gate and hot pink rose bushes; the same hue as the jacket he wore to a Judas Priest concert at the Long Beach Arena in 1984.

This is his Alamo. He leaves it only when the surf report dictates it, or when he needs a new stick, like his flat-top Gibson SJ-200 acoustic, the one that became famous on the cover of Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline, or wrapped tightly under Jimmy Page’s mighty grip. It's that or a trip back to his hometown of Lafayette, Indiana, in the middle of nowhere, on a visit to McGuire Music & Sound — where some of his equipment has been up for sale since last October, according to screenwriter John Miller, who's penning a script on the early years of the band.

To his critics, Stradlin is a deserter; to the purveyors of his cult, a purist, an unwilling arena rocker whose integrity was bruised by GNR's success. When he was a no-show at the music video shoot for "Don't Cry," a Use Your Illusion power ballad he co-wrote with singer Axl Rose, it was the beginning of the end. “I’m just not into the big production videos,” he told his hometown paper, the Lafayette Journal & Courier in 1993.

By then, he had long since left the band, disenchanted by Axl's Jagger-esque power play that began in the late ‘80s, as Stradlin — Izzy, to his fans — was strung-out and losing veto power in the band he had co-founded. In the lead-up to the Monsters of Rock Festival in England in 1988, Axl told a reporter that a band is a "political thing." Izzy never wanted to be like The Rolling Stones — rock's biggest political machine — he just wanted to play like Keith Richards.

“I like to keep it real simple,” Izzy said in the same interview with his hometown paper. “Which it wasn’t anymore with Guns.”

Over the years, Izzy has become my generation’s Man in Black. It’s both how I've imagined him during his exile, and pieced him together like the lost history of an early 20th century bluesman, from fragments like a video that surfaced earlier this year of him playing an old protest song on that same Gibson SJ-200. "Sunshine go away today," he sings. "Don’t feel much like dancing."

In the flesh, Izzy has eluded me. I'm not alone. The Wall Street Journal and Rolling Stone have prospected for the same interview. I tried to track him down not simply to ask about his absence from the current GNR reunion, but to understand his impetus for leaving GNR in ‘91, bolting on his own band the Ju Ju Hounds in ’94, and building a massive catalog of 11 solo albums that avoid complexity like a Warhol. Songs like "Train Tracks," a bluesy rocker about his teenage years in Lafayette, are Izzy at the height of his songwriting powers. Add Axl Rose's vocals and you could have a GNR song. He's written a lot of those since he left the band.

Then there are the songs that sound like an earnest Rolling Stone pastiche, like "Chop Away." Digging deeper, it begins to feel like Izzy is releasing music to protest the grabbiness of GNR albums like Use Your Illusion and Chinese Democracy. It can be almost offensively minimalist, like "Concrete," from the album titled Concrete, with album art that's literally a slab of concrete.

On “Here Comes the Rain,” off 1999’s Ride On, the only lyrics are “Here comes the rain” — like a grim retort to “Here Comes the Sun.” In many ways, Izzy is GNR's George Harrison, the silent type who never got the credit he deserved. Then again, maybe Izzy got too much credit. It's an understatement to say that Izzy has never released a masterpiece like Harrison's All Things Must Pass. Without Axl and Slash, Izzy's songwriting seemed to become a bit gun-shy.

Someone on the popular MyGNRForum tells me "Here Comes the Rain" was influenced by Izzy watching the Weather Channel. I believe it. It's that kind of simplicity that has made him a folk hero to GNR fans. It's part of his protest, where his guitar is the only frontman; for his critics, the few that exist, it's proof that Izzy needed the other Gunners to produce a chart-topper.

Aside from his vast library of underachieving music, I didn’t have very much to go on in my search. Izzy's the only Gunner without a proper biography. The one from 2005, Dust N’ Bones: The Untold Story Of Izzy Stradlin, doesn't qualify. “I just threw it away after I realized it wasn’t something worth reading,” says Jimmy Ashhurst, the former bass player in Izzy’s Ju Ju Hounds.

Because of this, and because of Izzy's own reclusive nature, some basic details of his story remain vague. Stephen Davis, author of Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N’ Roses (a somewhat reputable bio by the author of Hammer of the Gods) writes that Izzy was born in Florida, 1962. The same claim is made in the book Legends of Rock Guitar by Pete Prown and H.P. Newquist. In 1989, after he was arrested for urinating in the galley of a passenger plane, he bullshitted an FBI agent, saying he was from Idaho. "He's a real jokester," Georgia Satellites guitarist Rick Richards says.

The reality is that Izzy Stradlin — real name: Jeffrey Dean Isbell — was probably born in Lafayette, Indiana, on April 8, 1962, east of the Wabash River, at a time when train tracks still ran through the city's downtown. His family has deep roots in Indiana. Izzy’s maternal grandmother was born in Bloomington in 1916. His father, an Alcoa plant worker, and his mother, a telephone operator, filed for a marriage license in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, on Aug. 10, 1961. Izzy's father is named Richard Clyde Isbell and there's a man of that name currently registered to vote in Pasco County, Florida, which could explain why some sources connect him to the Sunshine State. But all the verifiable evidence comes back to central Indiana and the city of Lafayette.

Public records reveal that Izzy's great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was Captain Godfrey Isbell, a North Carolina militiaman who fought in the Revolutionary War. During the war, Captain Isbell allegedly murdered a neighbor named John Chapman for trespassing on his land. A warrant for the captain's arrest was issued in 1783, just as America was gaining independence from Great Britain. “Chapman was cutting down a tree on Isbell property,” says Ray Isbell, an amateur historian who’s been studying the Isbell family history for three decades. He's Izzy’s eighth cousin, once removed, and says Chapman may have been cutting down a Christmas tree.

In attempting to retrace Izzy's musical lineage, Ray directed me to archival information on Izzy’s grandfather’s half-brother, Joseph William “Little Joe” Isbell, a candidate for Cowboy Yodeler of the Year in Cowboy Music World, 1945. “Little Joe” was born in Bloomington Indiana, 1916. There’s a June 6, 1953 issue of Billboard with a help-wanted ad by “Little Joe,” linked to an Indiana address: "GIRLS FOR HILLBILLY AND WESTERN combo.” Along with a telling disclaimer: “No characters or drunks.” (Around 1984, in the “Seeking” section of the Recycler, Izzy placed a similar ad looking for a guitarist that was influenced by Aerosmith and Hanoi Rocks, with its own disclaimer: “No beards or mustaches.”) His paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Adeline Barton, was also a musician, a drummer and member of the High Notes Organ Club in Indiana.

Izzy started on drums, but his real musical awakening came in the form of the Ramones, who appeared on the syndicated TV variety show Don Kirshner's Rock Concert on Sept. 19, 1977. “The Ramones were my favorite,” he told TuneCore’s Jeff Price in 2006. He learned how to play the guitar by listening to Johnny Ramone play rudimentary riffs on tracks like "Judy Is a Punk."

In 1980, when Izzy arrived in Hollywood, he was a better drummer than a guitar player. "I was 18 years old," he told the Lafayette Journal & Carrier in 1993. "I got enough money for gas and I got all my stuff. I’m going to get in a band and maybe check out the beach and get some sun." Izzy was a punk rocker with an allergy for aluminum processing, the business of his father and grandfather before him.

Among the torrent of freaks flooding the Sunset Strip, Izzy exuded his own brand of cool. Chris Weber, the former guitarist in Hollywood Rose, the first L.A. band Izzy formed with Axl Rose, describes him like a Greaser living in a world full of squares. “He would smoke cigarettes in this very interesting way. Like it was the ‘40s or something. He was James Dean to me.” That was Izzy, circa 1983, in the parking lot of the Rainbow Bar & Grill, with his sleeves rolled up, part Johnny Thunders, part gypsy, a pot-smoking skater from the Midwest reinventing himself as the coolest rhythm guitar player of his generation.

Though they were childhood friends, Izzy and Axl's personalities diverged: the madcap singer, the detached guitarist. On May 13, 1986, at Raji’s, a rock club in Hollywood, Circle Jerks singer Keith Morris saw both firsthand: “My friend’s girlfriend was drunk at the front of the stage, heckling Axl. So he clocked her over with a mic stand. Which is when my friends decided to jump the stage and tear into members of the band.” Morris remembers Izzy ducking out of the room, just as Axl was kicking someone. “Izzy saw the train coming and quietly left.”

“Bolting is Izzy’s defense mechanism,” Slash wrote in his memoir. (The Raji's story is corroborated, without mention of Izzy’s disappearing act, in the pages of Marc Canter’s photographic chronicle of the band’s early days, Reckless Road: Guns N' Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction. Paul Stanley of KISS may have also been there that night.)

So how did Izzy and Axl's Midwestern bromance fade?

One source tells me Izzy discovered heroin in 1983, around the same time he and Axl formed the short-lived Hollywood Rose band. By the time GNR became MTV's most-hyped rock band, circa 1988, heroin had made him increasingly paranoid. “I remember he was living in Sherman Oaks so he could be away from Hollywood, with all these black drapes to keep the sun out,” says Ashhurst, who describes the scene like the strung-out John Frusciante interview from 1994, where it looked like flies were swirling around his head. “He had all his dope rolled up in socks and looked like this Gollum creature."

By the time Izzy got sober in 1989, he couldn't go back to being the guy who quietly smoked cigarettes in the basement of Hollywood clubs like the Cathay de Grande in early ‘80s, where Morris remembers first meeting him as a “real unassuming guy, who kind of just kept to himself.” The smack had given him an aura of invincibility, so without it, he wasn't comfortable being a star. “He was just happy doing what he was doing in those early days," Morris says. "He didn’t need all the crap that came with being a megastar.”

Between 1988 and 1991, Izzy's relationship with his band slowly turned from hot to cold steel. During the recording of Use Your Illusion in 1989, Izzy began to protest the album's high drama by putting himself out of the picture. "Because the album reached such gargantuan proportions as far as the production and complexity and the massive expectations," Slash told Music Radar in 2011, "Izzy started to bow out. He was harder to find, because that was against his rock & roll philosophy, which I totally agree with."

In 1991, the same year Nirvana broke punk, all hell broke loose within GNR. They were simultaneously the biggest band in the world and a complete mess. Kim Neely of Rolling Stone, who interviewed the band that year, wrote, "It's late July, and as usual, Guns N' Roses are screwing everything up." In May, they fired their longtime manager, Alan Niven, who had guided them to the top when no one else would. In July, during a show in St. Louis, Axl attacked a fan and a riot ensued. Drummer Steven Adler had sued the band, challenging the legitimacy of his firing in 1990. Axl was also chronically late to gigs, for curious reasons; in Tampa, rumor has it, he was backstage watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.

Eventually, Izzy claimed he could no longer deal with the complexities of being in a band with Axl Rose. "I had a bus, they had a plane. And I beat them to the gigs," he told MTV's Kurt Loder in 1992.

On Nov. 7, 1991, it was announced that Izzy had quit the band, which happened just as the GNR train was rolling off the tracks. His last show as an official member of the band took place at Wembley Stadium in London on Aug. 31, where he sang lead vocals on “14 Years,” a song he collaborated on with Axl in 1990, combining two tracks they had been working on separately. The lyrics tell the story of a friendship falling apart. It could also be a song about a girl who complains a lot, or a band fighting for respect (a recurring theme in a number GNR songs), but most fans assume it's about Izzy and Axl.

“It just got to the point that Axl, he was going to run the show," Izzy told the Lafayette Journal & Courier in 1993. "He was going to run Guns N’ Roses. I just decided I wasn’t going to be a part of it.”

Ashhurst tells me that in 1992, after quitting GNR, Izzy withdrew all his money from the bank, roughly $2 million, and stuffed it in the saddlebags of his ’88 Harley. Improbable as it may sound, a few days later, Izzy and his money arrived at Ashhurst’s condo in West Hollywood. This was the birth of the Ju Ju Hounds. “He still had all the muck on his goggles when he pulled up,” Ashhurst says. “Man, he didn’t trust anyone at that point.”

Ashhurst is one of several sources who offer me tips on where to find Izzy. "If you want to find him, go to a local motorcycle repair shop," he tells me. "He works on his own bikes," another says. “He's surfing near Ojai,” said former GNR manager Vicky Hamilton. But the truth is, only a handful of musicians have seen Izzy over the years. Ashhurst hasn’t seen or heard from Izzy since 1994. Neither has Charlie Quintana, the former drummer of the Ju Ju Hounds, Social Distortion and Bob Dylan. “I respect his privacy,” Quintana tells me over a landline in Mexico. Weber, the former Hollywood Rose guitarist, hasn't spoken to Izzy in decades.

Izzy, who no longer makes public appearences, hasn't played in front of a crowd in four years. The last time he played a show that I could find any record of was on Dec. 3, 2012, in Los Angeles, where he was a guest during Aerosmith’s Global Warming tour. He wore a three-piece suit that night and played “Mama Kin,” a song GNR covered in their early days. He wore the same suit for two more gigs, on Nov. 23 and 24 at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. A former manicurist at the Hard Rock Spa — who claims she slept with Izzy Stradlin in the summer of ’88, during a GNR tour with Aerosmith, listening to Cinderella’s Long Cold Winter on his tour bus — told me she ran into Izzy at the Hard Rock. “He seemed distant and spoke cryptically,” she says. “He wasn’t himself, at least not how I remember him.”

On stage that night, Izzy approached the microphone and said something you could only catch if you read lips: “Hi mom.” With his aviators on, he seemed to recoil under the spotlight. Izzy was uncomfortable on the stage, as if he wanted to go back to doing "Indiana stuff,” which is how he described it to TuneCore's Jeff Price in 2006: racing his bike on the tail behind Mary Lou Donuts; grabbing a slice at the Arni's in Market Square; or, as he told his local paper in 1993, planting some acreage.

It’s Sept. 4, 2016, and Axl Rose and Duff McKagan are on Brazilian TV. It's the first time they've been interviewed together in decades. The fact that Axl ghosted the American press for Brazil only surprises non-GNR fans who are ignorant to the fact the band is the Holy Writ of rock in South America. They're promoting the upcoming South American leg of the Not in This Lifetime tour.

The interviewer asks Axl if there’s any chance Izzy will join the band on their seemingly never-ending reunion tour. “I don’t even know what to say,” said Axl. “We make arrangements and then he goes and does other things. With Izzy you never know what to expect.”

On Sept. 8, Izzy Stradlin posted a tweet from an unverified profile that’s updated just as often as it’s edited. "Bullshit. They [Guns N' Roses] didn't want to split the loot equally. Simple as that. Moving right along." The retired gunslinger, emerging from his hideout to fire a warning shot at his old gang. (He deleted the tweet on Sept. 28.)

Izzy has played other one-off shows with GNR over the years. In 1993, after his replacement, Gilby Clarke, broke his wrist in a motorcycle accident, he played five overseas dates on the Use Your Illusion tour. He played 13 shows of a European tour in 2006 (when Axl had his fiberoptic cornrows), and the two Vegas dates in 2012. So why can't he do a one-off for the fans? Why wasn't Izzy at the Troubadour on April 1, when GNR reunited? Is it really just about "splitting the loot"?

To those who know him — or knew him, since they haven't seen him in years — Izzy's rejection of the GNR reunion is a very public way for him to reclaim his legacy, while at the same time, maintaining an unscheduled life. Izzy was once the band's Godfather, and he wants fans to remember him that way, not as the hired hand he became in later years. “Izzy was the mastermind. In the beginning, it was all him,” says Chris Weber. “Axl assumed that role later on.”

When it came to songwriting, the early dynamic was as follows: Izzy would write the basic structure of the song. Axl would add lyrics and vocal melodies (he'd also write on the piano). Duff and Adler added the backbone. Slash, the best musician out of the five, would add the finger-licking guitar parts. Not always in that order, but that’s how they did it prior to the fractured recording process of Use Your Illusion. The tension between his guitar and Slash's '59 Les Paul replica — Izzy's funky, syncopated jabs, Slash's venomous wrecking machine — is what made Appetite for Destruction bleed in so many different directions.

Izzy is now symbolic of the prototype phase of GNR, before their mutation into the biggest band on the planet. He engineered GNR into a rumbling Harley when '80s metal bands were all trying to be air-cooled Kawasaki racers. Not everyone agrees. Axl apologists, especially those who discovered GNR during the MTV world premiere of "November Rain" on June 27, 1992, view GNR's evolution as the ultimate marriage of hard rock and Shakespeare — to them, Izzy's minimalist philosophy held them back.

I tend to see it this way: Axl became the group's auteur, the one who sculpted the band from an ivory figurine into a Michelangelo. But it was Izzy's back-alley hustling that built the foundation of GNR. When Axl was still just Bill, living in Lafayette, Izzy was already the drummer in drag punk bands like Naughty Women. Before GNR played their first show, Izzy had his own micro-economy and Rolodex of seedy contacts. He sold heroin to rockstars, negotiated bookings on local pay phones, hawked leather belt straps for consignment at local record shops like Vinyl Fetish, helped deliver the L.A. Weekly, worked as a telemarketer. According ex-Hollywood Rose bassist Steve Darrow, Izzy was even the band’s stylist: “He had us meet up at his place, then fix up everybody’s hair and makeup before anyone left the room. Axl, too.” His entrepreneurial bent was the backbone of GNR. Then Axl turned the small business into a multinational corporation.

Some say Axl's takeover was necessary for the survival of the band. It was. Others think it sold them down the river. Maybe it did.

The complex dynamic between the two Midwestern rockers goes back to 1977, on Jane Boswell’s art table at Jefferson High School in Lafayette.

It was their sophomore year of high school, and Jeff Isbell and William Bailey (Axl Rose) were drawing in Boswell’s “Arts and Crafts Pottery” class. Izzy was the better illustrator and member of the school’s Art Club. Axl, the better singer, was in the Boys and Girls Ensemble. The two weren't following the lesson plan that particular day. “Gotcha little bastards!” is what Boswell tells me she wanted to say. Instead, she began to admire their drawing.

“They were combing opposing elements into a beautiful whole,” she tells me over the phone. “The whole, it’s funny now that I think about it, was a skull-like figure with guns and roses.”

Boswell tells me Izzy and Axl were illustrating their feelings; tormented by the a pall hanging over them resulting from childhood trauma. Public court documents indicate that Izzy's parents were divorced in 1973. A Lafayette local who knew the Isbell family tells me that Izzy's mom was extremely bitter about the divorce and felt that Richard Clyde Isbell, the father, had abandoned her and their three sons. Boswell describes Axl's strict Pentecostal upbringing as "difficult." It was later discovered that Axl was sexually abused by his biological father, William Rose, who abandoned the family when Axl was just two.

Following their art class collaboration, the two boys began silkscreening their design onto plain white T-shirts, a logo for some future punk band. “That took courage,” says Boswell. During Izzy's senior year, 1979, as he walked down the halls of Jefferson High, Boswell saw him for one last time. “He told me he was going to California to start a rock & roll band.”

Looking back at their history, it's clear why Izzy expects equality. On the schoolyard, they were always on the same level. On the Sunset Strip, they both ran the gang that first became the “world’s most dangerous band” in the late '80s, then the most self-destructive in 1991. But over the years, Izzy has become the GNR saga's version of Brian Jones, who founded The Rolling Stones but was pushed to the margins by the more charismatic Jagger and Richards, even before his death at the age of 27.

Twenty-seven is also the age at which Kurt Cobain died — and the age at which, on Dec. 15, 1989, Izzy Stradlin became sober, turned off by the call of Dionysius right before the reaper came calling. It was a detour from fate that saved his soul. It happened roughly 30,000 feet above the ground.

Aug. 27, 1989: Jeffrey Dean Isbell, 5’11", 27 years old, 150 pounds, was arrested at the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport wearing a black suit with black boots for “interference” on USAir flight 350 from Indianapolis to Los Angeles. Translation: After becoming impatient waiting for the restroom, Izzy Stradlin unzipped his pants and pissed in the galley.

“I believe his original flight to L.A. was delayed, so by the time Izzy and his girlfriend were on the flight, they had probably been drinking in the airport for hours,” says Scott Rivas, the former FBI agent responsible for transferring Izzy from the Maricopa County Jail into federal custody.

“He was never a jerk like a lot of people in higher positions," Rivas remembers. "In fact, he was quite the opposite. A real nice guy. Oh, he told me he was from Idaho.”

It was a cry for help. Pissing in the galley of a passenger plane wasn't the result of a full bladder, so much as an empty gas tank. He had given up; the rock-star lifestyle was ripping him apart.

"Whizzy," as he was afterward teased by his bandmates, would perform on Oct. 18, 1989, at the L.A. Coliseum. It was the night that Axl, who had keenly studied Jagger’s rule over the Stones, made yet another bold move in his power play. Before playing in front of 72,000 screaming fans, he ranted: "If certain people in this band don’t start getting their shit together, these are going to be the last Guns N' Roses shows. … I’m tired of too many people in the organization dancing with Mr. goddamn Brownstone."

By December, Izzy was clean. His sobriety had given him the ability to see what he had buried with the dope. It seems he became numb to the GNR fix once he realized it was too stressful for him. “That was my low point. Around ’89, I had bottomed out,” Izzy told TuneCore’s Jeff Price in 2006. That year, he purchased a classic brick, Federal-style home in Lafayette, one of the county’s oldest properties. In 1990, the grandmother that had introduced him to the drums passed away. Izzy was already fixing on rediscovering his roots.

It’s a few days before a reunited GNR plays Dodger Stadium, but I’m still in Ojai, sweat trickling down my brow, leaving a note inside Izzy Stradlin's mailbox. "Dear Izzy, I know you don't do interviews ..."

On my way up to Izzy's house, while studying the landscape, it all began to make sense to me. Ojai is hidden between the Topatopa Mountains and the California coast. It's a quiet mountain town 90 miles north of L.A., where erstwhile rockers go to plant some acreage, eat organic and avoid temptation. "He's a health freak," says Rick Richards of the Georgia Satellites, one of the few people, as far as I can tell, who's kept in touch with Izzy over the years.

At about nine o'clock, the town of Ojai goes to sleep. A few bars stay open, but sundown is the city's unofficial curfew. "Sometimes I get claustrophobic between all the mountains, so I just drive down to the beach," says a local recording engineer from New York. It's where Izzy can enjoy his permanent vacation from the fast lanes of Hollywood, without kissing it goodbye completely.

At first, I think about opening his gate and walking onto his property. I've already picked a few oranges from across the street (Ojai is covered with citrus groves) and think I could offer him a few. Then I remember Jimmy Ashhurst's story of Izzy during the '92 riots.

“We were recording the Ju Ju Hounds record in Redondo Beach when the L.A. riots happened," says Ashhurst. "Our sound engineer was like, ‘Shots fired!' And Izzy grabbed all the tapes and gear. We went down to a local gun shop, and he just he loaded up a duffle bag with guns. After that, we went to his house in Palos Verdes and he had a tripod set up with a machine gun on it and I was like, ‘I don’t think they’re gonna come up this far, bro.'”

I move along and grab a beer at Deer Lodge in Ojai, where a punk rocker and animal rights activist tells me Izzy records at a studio used by Kenny Loggins — who writes children's songs now, I'm told. In May, Izzy was seen recording at Ojai's Brotheryn Studios with some of rock’s most talented players, including guitarist Rick Richards. Richards is probably best-known for shredding in the back of an empty hay truck in the video for the Georgia Satellites’ biggest hit, “Keep Your Hands to Yourself.” He was also the lead guitarist of the Ju Ju Hounds. He calls me from Atlanta and updates me on Izzy in his Southern accent.

“Since he didn’t do the GNR project, he just wanted to let his fans know he was still around and playing music,” says Richards. During the Brotheryn sessions, with bassist J.T. Longoria behind the mixing board, and Taz Bentley behind the kit, Izzy recorded tons of raw material. “This could be part of a bigger scheme, but nothing’s written in stone,” says Richards. “You see, he likes to live a stress-free existence.”

Thus far, only two songs have graduated from rough cuts into proper releases, “Walk ’N Song” and “F.P. Money.” Izzy sings the chorus on “F.P. Money,” which is hard to decipher, but he seems to be singing, "Making fighter pilot money, it's a bag of gold." Or something like that. Or it could be, "They can fight about it, money, it's a bag of gold."

GNR's second drummer, Matt Sorum, plays on the track. Sources tell me Sorum was offered a guest spot on the GNR reunion tour, but he could never come to financial terms with his old band. Izzy, as we all know now, was offered what he felt was an unequal share of GNR equity. “F.P. Money” could be a coded message — or, as Stradlin contended in a deleted Tweet from July 6, it could just be influenced by cancelled Jack Black comedy The Brink. Your guess is as good as mine.

I'm back in L.A., sitting in a chic cafe in West Hollywood when Jimmy Ashhurst pulls up on an Italian Vespa he bought cash-in-hand at Sturgis one year. GNR is headed to Dodger Stadium. Jimmy's wearing mirrored aviators that make his graying sideburns, long hair and faded nautical tattoos look prison-made. His face looks like aged leather, seasoned by a career as a sturdy bass player for wild rock bands like Buckcherry.

Ashhurst met Izzy on the Sunset Strip in the early ‘80s. He became his first bandmate in the Ju Ju Hounds, who were signed to Geffen Records and released just one self-titled album in 1992. “I was watching MTV and Kurt Loder came on and said that Izzy had left Guns N' Roses,” he tells me. “Then the phone rang, and it was him. He was calling from Lafayette to ask me to start a band, and I kid you not, man, I was watching him on TV.”

Alan Niven, who was fired by GNR seven months before Izzy quit, was hired as the manager of the Ju Ju Hounds. “From a manager’s point of view, I believed that Izzy could develop a career that would not be dissimilar from that of a Tom Petty,” says Niven. “Where he’d go out and do short tours for about six weeks; not overplay or exhaust. Keeping it homely and down-home. Izzy himself showed concurrence by ignoring an invitation to open for Bon Jovi. ‘I'd rather play clubs than open for him,’ he mumbled dismissively.”

Izzy and Ashhurst would recruit Rick Richards and drummer Charlie Quintana to form one of rock’s biggest could-have-beens. Izzy had dirty dreadlocks and wanted to create a rock band that blended the reggae of Toots & The Maytals with the boozy pub rock of The Faces. Some say this was the happiest he had ever been on stage. The band even had an AOR radio hit, “Shuffle It All."

Izzy Stradlin's Ju Ju Hounds could have been his Heartbreakers. Instead, they became his X-Pensive Winos. On July 21, 1993, Geffen released an EP, Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds Live. Recorded in Ireland in 1992, it's the clearest channel to feeling the raw power of the now-forgotten band. The five-track EP was only released in Japan, not uncommon for Izzy, who was keenly aware of the Japanese market's unhealthy obsession with American hard rock.

“Izzy's a fucking gentleman,” says Quintana. “He took cares of us. No ego. He was very private guy, and there were times when he’d be in his hotel room, but we all respected that.”

But the Ju Ju Hounds drowned in Izzy's lack of ambition. He moved to Hawaii and refused to do press, following the surf reports instead of finishing the band's second album. One source says Izzy refused an opportunity to appear on Saturday Night Live. Another tells me that Izzy and Ashhurst weren't getting along; that it was their personality conflict that brought down the Ju Ju Hounds. The fact is Izzy was sober, and Ashhurst wasn't.

In 1994, Izzy mysteriously ghosted his bandmates and took a one way trip to Europe. Some say he went to Spain; other say it was to Sweden with his then-girlfriend. The Ju Ju Hounds were recording in Tobago when it happened, an island in the Caribbean. "He just took a turn," says Quintana. "He didn't say where he was going, but he likes to travel, and I respect that."

Nobody knows for sure why Izzy disappeared from those recording sessions — including Ashhurst, whose life began to spiral out of control. He felt rudderless without the Ju Ju Hounds. “When the band broke up, I decided to get a heroin addiction, then kick it, just to able to relate to Izzy better.”

“Izzy has always been the kind of guy with somewhere else he needed to be,” Slash wrote in his memoir.

I never found Izzy. My letter was probably trashed with the envelopes from his royalty checks. When I got his number and called him, there was no response. Izzy's mystique lies in his ability to slip away from us — but, paradoxically, he will always be the most relatable member of GNR; the guy Alan Niven once described as the "cool heart for the hot soul of the band." Maybe it's because Izzy seemed to disappear on stage, behind the shadows of his swinging Les Paul, under his newsboy hat and the forcefield of cool he'd erect with the noirish detachment of a street hustler. Izzy always seemed more working-class in that respect, not just in terms of socioeconomic status, but stage presence.

It's unfair to say this, even a bit unsportsmanlike, but Izzy's the only Gunner whose integrity seems indefatigable after two decades of feuding that stained everyone involved. Izzy seemingly never lost his cool. Even his Gary-Oldman-as-Drexl dreadlocks in '92 seemed more low-key, like he was some Rastafarian white-boy busking for change on Telegraph Avenue, whereas Axl's NFL wide-receiver corn rows from the aughts — the one's he premiered at the 2002 MTV VMA's — looked like they were sculpted by engineers at NASA.

Axl, once dubbed the “Howard Hughes of Rock,” is now the genre's most public ambassador. His remarkable comeback (fronting both GNR and AC/DC) has revived hard rock. Like Barry Bonds in 2001, Axl's current run defies critics, science, even logic. The Not in This Lifetime tour, as of this writing, has grossed over $117 million because Axl has started batting .400 again — nobody can question that. He's even doing press conferences and tweeting out adorable emojis.

Izzy Stradlin, who's tweeting as well, is almost unrecognizable without his darkly-tinted aviators. "Mr. Invisible," as Axl once called him, now wants to be visible, without being there, or having to deal with all the shit that comes along with being there. The music he quietly releases, with little-to-no promotion, is how he remains relevant without having to remain present. It's why there are still fans with “Where’s Izzy” signs, like Caroline Campos, because some of them are genuinely curious about the whereabouts of GNR's simple man, or feel the band remains incomplete without him. Other just want to show-off their knowledge of GNR trivia.

But for now, Izzy is the face on the side of the milk carton inside Axl's fridge, next to ex-guitarist Buckethead's KFC bucket, right under Adler's decomposed drug habit, hidden behind the bowl of stale spaghetti — the GNR reunion's missing person and its most unanswerable question.
Source: http://www.laweekly.com/music/wheres-izzy-searching-for-the-gnr-reunions-missing-person-7388840
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