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Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.


2004.06.03 - Rock Journal - Interview with Dizzy

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2004.06.03 - Rock Journal - Interview with Dizzy Empty 2004.06.03 - Rock Journal - Interview with Dizzy

Post by Soulmonster Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:07 pm

Dizzy Reed
King's Club - Centereach, NY
Dizzy Reed (Keyboards - Guns N' Roses, Keyboards/Vocals - Hookers & Blow)

Interviewed by Dan Piro /

Dan: How did you wind up joining Guns N' Roses in 1990?

Dizzy: In 1990 I joined Guns N' Roses when they decided to add a keyboard player.  I had known Axl and actually the whole band for a long time, like five years.  Axl would always tell me when they added a keyboard player that I was going to be the guy.  And when it was time, he found me, tracked me down, and said, "Its time to do it."

Dan: What were you doing before that?

Dizzy: I was in a band in L.A. called The Wild.  I had been in that band for about five years.  We were just trying to get a deal.  I had a few deals, they fell through, but we were doing really good playing the clubs.  We were basically just drinking a lot and chasing girls.

Dan: What, in your opinion, was the downfall of the original line up of GNR?

Dizzy: The downfall?  I don't think there was an actual downfall as much as everybody sort of outgrew what was going on.  People lost track of how they got there.  Sometimes when you're that young and you have that much success that fast you grow out of it.  I think that had a lot to do with it.  There was a definite lack of communication also, which when you have a group of people that work together that closely all the time, communication is extremely important. When there is a lot of money to be made, sometimes the powers that be will keep that communication from happening for fear that it might break up what's going on.  Thus, the money machine will shut down.

Dan: There are a lot of rumors that go around, and its hard to tell what is really true, but is there any animosity between the current line-up and the guys that aren't there anymore?

Dizzy: Other than common members, i.e. Axl and myself, none of the other guys really know any of the old guys.

Dan: I pretty much meant you and Axl.

Dizzy: To me its like that chapter of my life is currently closed, apparently.  And that's that.  I wish the best for them and hopefully the best for us.

Dan: While we're talking about them, have you heard any of the Velvet Revolver stuff?

Dizzy: I honestly haven't heard it.  I seriously haven't.  Its not that I'm trying to avoid it, I just haven't heard it.  I mean, I'm going to go out and buy it, you know?  Do you have it?

Dan: The CD is actually not out yet.  It comes out next week.

Dizzy: (Laughing) Maybe that's why I fucking haven't heard it!

Dan: Well the single is out on the radio.

Dizzy: I never listen to the radio.  Very, very, very rarely do I listen to the radio.  I just don't like what the radio forces people to cram down their throats.  Radio sucks right now.  Its at an all time low.  That's probably why I haven't heard it.  Not that its bad because they play it, because they play some good things, but if I want to listen to that, I'd rather just put in a CD.

Dan: Do you talk to any of the guys from the old band anymore?

Dizzy: You know, I ran into Matt Sorum recently and said hi.  It was cool.  But other than that, no.  I don't talk to them, but if I did see them, I'm sure it'd be cool.

Dan: With the way all the other guys came and went from the band over the years, not just the original line-up, but like Dave Navarro was in and out at some point, and a bunch of others guys.  How is it that you have lasted so long?

Dizzy: That's a good question.  I really believe in what we're doing.  And I think the longer its gone on, the more I've had to invest in what I'm doing.  I want to see it through.  I still think I have a lot to prove with this band.  I have a lot invested in it and I want to see it happen.  It always seems like its just around the corner that its going to come, so why quit now?  And then you get around the corner, and its around the corner again (Laughs).  But still, at this point, its the same thing: Why quit now?  And I guess I haven't done anything stupid to get fired.

Dan: You said that it keeps seeming like its right around the corner and it keep seeming like you're almost there and then it fades away, then the rumors come again and fade away.  What's the deal with that?  Why does it keep seeming like its so close and then fading away?

Dizzy: My opinion is that a lot of it has to do with people quitting and obstacles that are thrown our way, and just different things, man.  There's always something.  You never know what's going to happen.  I really think its going to happen very soon.  I really feel that now.

Dan: Is there any kind of a timetable?  I know its so hard to say because there are so many dates that have been thrown around, but is there any idea at all?

Dizzy: There isn't unfortunately.  I would say this year.

Dan: Is it frustrating, since its been like an endless recording process?

Dizzy: Of course.  Its extremely fucking frustrating.  And that's why I come do stuff like this, to keep me from going crazy.

Dan: Is the record set up as its going to be released?  Has it been decided what songs are going to be on it?

Dizzy: Pretty much.

Dan: How long have those songs been around?

Dizzy: Some of them have been around for five or six years.  Others are fairly new.

Dan: The ones that have been around for a few years, have they changed a lot over the years?  Is that one of the things that holds up the release?

Dizzy: They change a little bit, yeah.  And as is the modern way, some of the songs have two or three different versions.  You know, remixes and what not.  There's so many great players in the band now and there are so many great parts that have been laid down now for all the songs, unfortunately its impossible to put them all on there.  The obvious thing would be to have a couple versions of each song.  I don't know if that's going to happen, but its definitely possible.  And I have heard several versions of some of the cooler songs, and they all sound great.  All the players that have come in and out of this project are phenomenal players.  So there's a lot of great stuff to choose from.  Its an unenviable task for whoever is going to mix it.  BUT THEY BETTER PUT MY SHIT IN THE MIX!

Dan: Its been like eleven years since the last album now, and everybody is still talking about it.  Can it possibly live up to the hype?

Dizzy: Yes.

Dan: Its that good, in your opinion?

Dizzy: In my opinion, absolutely.  I think it will actually exceed expectations.

Dan: It seems like the band was close before.  You went out and did a world tour, there was the MTV Awards, does it seem like you were closer than ever before, or does it seem like there were times when it was closer and now you have kind of taken a step back?

Dizzy: I think it feels closer now than it did then.

Dan: There was a song that leaked out to radio, I.R.S., is that definitely a GNR song?  As far as I know, nobody ever confirmed it.  Is that one of the songs?

Dizzy: Yes.  Its a good song.

Dan: I never got to hear it.  It was only on one time then the guy that played it had to take it out of the replay of the show.  I couldn't find it online or anywhere.

Dizzy: I think Mike Piazza was the guy.

Dan: Yeah, that's what it was.

Dizzy: How bizarre is that?

Dan: Of all people, right?

Dizzy: What???

Dan: With all the time that's been put into this record, the cost must be some insane amount of money.  Is this going to be one of the most expensive records in music history?

Dizzy: Do you think Smarty Jones is going to win the Triple Crown?

Dan: (Laughing) Don't want to go there?

Dizzy: That's a change of subject.

Dan: Gotcha.  Is Buckethead out?  Is that official?

Dizzy: For the time being, yeah.

Dan: Are you going to replace him or go with two guitars?

Dizzy: That I'm not sure about.

Dan: What actually happened with the Philadelphia gig?

Dizzy: I really can't talk about that.  There's still a lot of shit going on.

Dan: Legal stuff?

Dizzy: Yeah.

Dan: What about the cancellation of the tour?  Is that the same deal?

Dizzy: Its really the same thing.

Dan: Axl seems to get a very bad rap.  How do you get along with him personally?  How do you get along with him?

Dizzy: I think he's one of the coolest, most giving, warmest people I've ever met.  Sure he's temperamental, but he's a good friend.  Seriously though, he's a good guy.

Dan: Is the way he's treated by the media unfair?

Dizzy: Its ridiculously unfair. Its just total creation of the media. For some reason, when the media turns on someone, they just let him have it and its completely unfair.  The thing is, a lot of it happened when he kind of disappeared for a long time.  So he wasn't around.  Rolling Stone put out a whole article based on interviews of people that... well they put him on a cover and never spoke to him at all about anything to sell their fucking magazine.  They basically just collected a whole bunch of negative comments.  You could go around with you or me or anyone in this room and talk to people that they've known their whole lives and say, "Come on, give me some dirt," and there'd be something and then you could write a fucking article about it and make them look like shit, and it would all be factual.  They just did it to sell their fucking magazine.  That's so fucked up.  So its all bullshit.

Dan: Why is it that everything about the band is always kept very secret?  There are always rumors flying around about the band, but there is rarely any official word to confirm or deny anything.

Dizzy: Um... hmm... I don't know, man.  Haha.

Dan: Is there going to be any album coming out with this Hookers & Blow thing?

Dizzy: I don't know.  We've talked about putting some stuff together.  I'm sure we will do something.

Dan: A lot of the guys in GNR, like Stinson, Bucket when he was with the band, were doing solo stuff.  What kind of schedule is the band on?

Dizzy: Well, we have a lot of free time right now.  So everybody pretty much went and did their thing, but we're always on call.

Dan: During that time in the mid and late 90's, when there wasn't much talk of anything going on, was there a lot of down time?

Dizzy: I was down in a rehearsal studio recording ideas with a couple other guys, a guy named Paul Huge who was in the band for a little while, and basically that's what I did five days a week.  Five or six days a week, I was just down there recording ideas.  A lot of great songs came out of that.  Its all still there.  Something will happen with that stuff eventually.  That was a very cool creative period and it was great working with Paul.

Dan: So as far as down time goes, there's been more later than earlier?

Dizzy: When you're in a rock band, there's never any down time.

Dan: What's the deal with the Hookers & Blow?  What's going on with it?  What songs are you doing?  Is it original stuff?  Covers?

Dizzy: Right now we're doing just all cool covers.

Dan: And how did the band come together?

Dizzy: (Turning to the group) How did we come together?

Alex Grossi: You ever see a five car pile-up?

Dizzy: Yeah, that's pretty much how it was.

Alex: No, we met like six months ago.  We played at the Cat Club.

Dizzy: Yeah, last year we met.  There's this place called the Cat Club in L.A. where all of us appear from time to time.  I appear there every Thursday with the Starfuckers.

Alex: And you played on the Creatures record.

Dizzy: Yeah, that's right.

Alex: Yeah, he came in and played keyboards on a couple songs on the new Beautiful Creatures record.

Dan: That leads me to another question, when is that one coming out?

Alex: I don't know.  That one's done, its in the can.  Its just legal stuff that has to be worked out.

Dizzy: Yeah, so we talked about getting back here and doing some shows.  Matt, Curtis, and Troy are in a band called Fastmaster.  So it just all worked out and made sense.  We came out a few months ago and did like four shows, played a few shows in L.A. and it felt great, we had a good time, so we decided to come back and do it again.  So hopefully we're going to round up some more dates around the country... AND MAYBE EVEN THE WORLD!!!

Dan: Is there anything else you want to add?  Any plugs?

Dizzy: Buy Tommy Stinson's new record.  Its amazing.  Its beautiful.  Its incredible.  Its one of the best records of the year.

Dan: Thanks.

Dizzy: Thank you, Dan.  Oh yeah!  Go to and you can buy a Hookers & Blow t-shirt.  And that will be a collector's item.  So you can be the first on your block to get one.

Alex: And the last.

Dizzy: And Lisa, my wife, has a new book out.  Its called Embra's Flame by Lisa Reed, and its available on  She also has another book out called Sabra's Soul.  They're both kind of based in the rock world, so they're pretty cool.  Check them out.
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