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2013.03.15 - Interview with Dizzy in Brisbane Times

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2013.03.15 - Interview with Dizzy in Brisbane Times Empty 2013.03.15 - Interview with Dizzy in Brisbane Times

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:17 am

No illusions necessary

BRETT WOODWARD. March 15, 2013

They’re older, wiser and slightly less prone to violent outbursts, but Dizzy Reed and his cohorts in Guns N’ Roses still know how to thrill a crowd, writes BRETT WOODWARD.

Keyboardist Dizzy Reed – dishing details about Guns N’ Roses’ coming Melbourne show – has just said: ‘‘You’re going to hear the hits, cool, deeper cuts, and some new stuff.’’

New stuff?!

After famously making fans wait 17 years between Use Your Illusion I and II (1991) and Chinese Democracy (2008), Guns N’ Roses are going to unveil some new tracks in Melbourne?

‘‘By ‘new songs’, I was referring to songs from Chinese Democracy,’’ Reed hastily clarifies. ‘‘I don’t think we’ll be trying out any new material but, you never know, anything could happen.

‘‘We have a long repertoire that’s a little bit different every show. We don’t actually have a set list; never have.

It’s one of the things I love about the band, and also one of the things that makes it difficult at the same time. But I think that’s the way rock’n’roll should be.’’

Reed joined Guns N’ Roses in 1990 and is the longest-serving member apart from Axl Rose. He survived the 28-month Use Your Illusion tour, officially the longest in rock history, dogged by riots and controversy.

Reed’s work – and excesses – with Guns N’ Roses has earned him a place in Guinness World Records (longest charting single) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

‘‘First and foremost, I’m happy to still be alive!’’ Reed laughs. ‘‘I enjoy some drinks now and then, but certainly not like I used to. I probably take the chance to appreciate things more nowadays. Not that I didn’t appreciate what was happening back in the day; I just didn’t know what I was meant to be appreciating. Now I realise how damned lucky I am!’’

Reed has weathered more than two decades behind a notoriously volatile frontman. He has stuck by Rose through personnel upheavals, tantrums, tour and studio nightmares and everyday craziness. Skilled on a dozen instruments, in addition to being the band’s primary backing vocalist, he has been crucial in shaping the mature sound of Guns N’ Roses.

Painfully shy and introverted as a child, Reed was coaxed out of his shell by his grandmother, who tutored him on organ. He founded the Wild at the height of glam metal in the ’80s and spent five years sweating in clubs before being lured away by Rose. Reed, who turns 50 in a few months, ruminates on change:

‘‘When I was younger, the only way you could get a proper piano sound was with a real piano on stage. If I had today’s technology as a kid I would never have left my basement. Life would have been completely different.

‘‘I try to explain that to my kids, or younger fans – don’t take technology for granted and get lazy. There has never been any replacement for getting in front of people and playing live, and that’s always going to be the same.’’

As a father of four, including three daughters, there must have been a time when having been labelled a member of ‘‘The Most Dangerous Band in the World’’ has come back to haunt Reed as a parent.

‘‘Luckily, it hasn’t!’’ he says. ‘‘I think my kids would be grossed out and I doubt they ever want to hear any of my tour stories. My kids have their senses about them more than I did at that age.

‘‘There was one time in Denver: Papa Roach, who are friends of mine, happened to be playing. All three of my daughters wanted to go to the show, with the whole, ‘Please, dad, please, please, please can we go?!’ thing.

‘‘So I took them down to the show and they got to meet the guys. At one point, we’re on the tour bus, and I looked across at them and said,‘This is the only time you girls will ever, ever get on a band’s tour bus!’

‘‘My son is in a band as well. When he’s on tour it’s a bit more ‘live and learn’. I get these phone calls where he says, ‘Dad, you were right about touring – those things happen!’ And I’m like the proud father – ‘Aww, they really do listen to me!’’’

Guns N’ Roses play the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on March 16 and 17 with ZZ Top and Rose Tattoo.
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