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2012.06.06 - Interview with Gilby

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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:15 am

GNR: There will always be an Axl hanging over them

Guns N Roses’ induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame held out hope for long-suffering fans. Maybe the old band members could put things behind them for just one night, reunite, and play a couple of songs, for old times’ sake, for the fans.

But no, Axl Rose chose to kick the fans in the face one more time. He’s been doing it his entire career. Why change now?

Just three days before the April 14 induction ceremony in Cleveland, Rose, 50, delivered an open letter, in which he not only refused to attend, but also to be inducted.

“Time to move on,” Rose stated in the letter. “People get divorced. Life doesn’t owe you your own personal happy ending especially at another’s, or in this case several others, expense.”

“It blows me away that people really thought he would show up and do the right thing,” says Gilby Clarke, who played rhythm guitar with the band from 1991 to 1994.

Clarke did show up at the Cleveland gala — as did original lead guitarist Slash, original bassist Duff McKagan, and drummers Matt Sorum and Steven Adler.

They played a quick set of GNR songs with Myles Kennedy, lead singer of Alter Bridge and Slash’s current solo band, taking the vocals. Kennedy did a fine job, but he’s no Axl Rose.

“The fans have let all of us have long careers and we thought that we owed it to them to show up,” adds Clarke. “We agree with you (fans), it’s great music, let’s play one night. We showed up, played a couple of tunes and that was that.”

Clarke is on the phone from his Los Angeles home. He’s agreed to an interview because his solo band is performing at Club 77 in Hamilton on Friday. Clarke would probably prefer talking about the solo album he’s working on, but he knows he can’t avoid the questions about Axl and GNR.

So Gilby, do you think Axl does things like this just to maintain his image?

“This is exactly who he is,” says Clarke, who was also a member of the TV reality show band Rockstar Supernova with Tommy Lee of Motley Crue and Jeff Newsted of Metallica.

“To say something nice about Axl, is to say that the guy is true to himself. However you feel about his decisions, he is true to himself. He has been consistent.”

Clarke does have one other nice thing to say about Axl Rose — he’s a great singer.

“A lot of us former members are limited to some extent from doing the (GNR) stuff live, because there’s only one Axl,” Clarke says. “Nobody can sing like he can. So we’ve all got to do the songs that are in what we call ‘normal ranges.’”

When touring Ontario, Clarke is backed by a Toronto-based rhythm section consisting of Sean Kelly (Crash Kelly, Nelly Furtado) on bass and Dave Langguth (Nelly Furtado) on drums.

“It’s a little bit of blues, it’s a little bit of rock ’n’ roll,” Clarke says about his live show. “I do some GNR and I do some Slash Snakepit stuff. I’ll pop in some covers, maybe a Beatles tune or a Stones song or some David Bowie. It all depends on the crowd.”

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