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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

1994.10.04 - AP/Daily News - Nice-guy guitarist Gilby Clarke guns for a solo career (Gilby)

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1994.10.04 - AP/Daily News - Nice-guy guitarist Gilby Clarke guns for a solo career (Gilby) Empty 1994.10.04 - AP/Daily News - Nice-guy guitarist Gilby Clarke guns for a solo career (Gilby)

Post by Soulmonster Tue May 06, 2014 8:12 pm

1994.10.04 - AP/Daily News - Nice-guy guitarist Gilby Clarke guns for a solo career (Gilby) 1994_118

Transcript:

Nice-guy guitarist Gilby Clarke guns for a solo career

By KIRA L BILLIK
The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Despite the image that comes from playing in one of the baddest bands around, Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke's new solo record shows the kind of guy he really is.

The inspiration for one song from Clarke's "Pawn Shop Guitars," the near-psychedelic "Johanna's Chopper," was a 5-year-old girl who befriended him on a plane trip from Los Angeles to New York.

"This girl is just talking my ear off, and she's drawing me pictures and she's looking at my tattoos and she's saying, 'I've never met anyone like you,' and her mom's just going, 'Oh. no.'". he said with a chuckle.

"It was very refreshing and it really inspired me. That week, I had just finished my new motorcycle, which is like an old '65 chopper. When I got home, I go, 'That's Johanna's chopper.' because that was the little girl's name."

Clarke, 32. is a gregarious, enthusiastic guy. He's the light in the darkness of Guns N' Roses, and his warm, good-natured pop songs. laced with liberal doses of the Beatles and the Stones, showcase his cheerful personality.

"I'm a very happy person," he said in an interview from Denver, a stop on his current solo tour. "Sure, things come up that (mess) everything up, but I think it's great to work through it."

"Johanna's Chopper" is a dead-on ringer for "Lucy in the Sky With
Diamonds," and that pop sensibility is all over the record. Songs such as the lush "Black" and the wistful "Let's Get Lost" soar, and "Tijuana Jail" and the title track tell stories of hard-luck characters who run into plenty of trouble.

Clarke has had this material for years, and decided to put it on record after Guns' exhausting and strife-filled "Use Your Illusion" tour. He replaced guitarist Izzy Stradlin right before the tour, learning about 50 songs in the week before hitting the road. He also played on Guns "The Spaghetti Incident?" album.

He's a passable singer — no huge vibrato, no giant octave jumps, no whiskey-laced hoarseness.

"I never consider myself a good singer," he said. "I'm singing my lyrics, so therefore, at least I'm singing what I believe in. At least it's emotional and it's true, and that's what I always try to go for — besides pitch."

But what he may lack in vocal ability, he makes up for in unusual melodies and strong guitar work. And he loves oddball instruments, such as the Mellotron (an electrionic keyboard) he has Dizzy Reed play on "Black." Guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum also play on the record.

Clarke grabs the Clash's "Jail Guitar Doors" and tears through it with gusto. And he goes a laid-back treatment to his favorite jam song, the Stones' "Dead Flowers" - laid-back, that is, until his guest vocalist pierces through the chorus with his unmistakable voice. Axl Rose.

It's one of those songs I with I wrote," he said.

"I had actually asked Axl to come play piano on the song, because he plays piano very well," Clarke said. I just thought it was kind of like an odd thing, kind of like having Frank Black (ex-Pixies) play on 'Jail Guitar Doors.'

"I had no intention of him singing, and then he said, "So, you want me to sing with you or what?"'

Clarke is comfortable with his role as a hired hand in Guns N' Roses, and says he's not intimidated by the band's strong personalities.

"I play such a small part in what really goes on," he said. "It's great
to be able to play on a stage in front of like 50,000 people. I'm not playing my songs, but at least I'm playing music that I like."

Although his audience is much smaller when he's playing solo, Clarke doesn't mind the letdown.

"This tour for me is fun," he said. "You don't put out a record and just go, 'OK. I'm done.' You get out there and you play it live, because this is the reward for making the record."

He makes it a point to meet his audiences after shows.

"You get to hear what people say" he said. "In Guns N' Roses we don't know what our audience thinks anymore because we haven't seen them in almost three years - a lot longer for some of the guys."
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