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1995.01.27 - The Acron Beacon Journal - Axing Rose Easy To Do (Gilby)

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Post by Blackstar on Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:10 pm

1995.01.27 - The Acron Beacon Journal - Axing Rose Easy To Do (Gilby) Gnr-gi11
1995.01.27 - The Acron Beacon Journal - Axing Rose Easy To Do (Gilby) Gnr-gi10

Transcript:
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Axing Rose easy to do

Former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke may have left just in time

BY KEVIN C. JOHNSON
Beacon Journal pop music writer

It takes a lot to just up and leave one of the hottest rock bands in the country. But former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke has no regrets and is looking forward to the solo career that until now has been somewhat of a side gig.

“What really prompted the decision is that the band has been in limbo for the last year,” says Clarke, who announced last week he was leaving the controversial band known for such multimillion-selling albums as Appetite for Destruction and the Use Your Illusion double-record set.

“I just don’t really fit in anymore," says Clarke, 32, a Cleveland native.

“I’ve spoken to the band many times about how they want the next record to sound. The sound Axl (lead vocalist Axl Rose) wants is not compatible with the way I play guitar. That’s why I’ve always done my solo work and the record they wanted to do,” says Clarke, who released a solo album called Pawn Shop Guitars last year.

Clarke, who was interviewed by telephone from his Los Angeles home, will perform at the Agora tonight, making his Cleveland debut (though he has performed in Canton, and Guns N' Roses have performed in the area before Clarke came on board in 1991).

He says he won't miss the band's camaraderie; there was never any to begin with.

“There was a band, but there also wasn’t a band. I have some good friends in the band — Slash (guitarist) and Matt (drummer Sorum, formerly of the Cult). We had a good time when we were performing and stuff. But I never saw Axl unless we were onstage together,” says Clarke, who says his leaving wasn’t a matter of whether or not he got along with wild man Rose.

Rose's ex-wife Erin Everly (daughter of Don Everly of the Everly Brothers) and former fiance-model Stephanie Seymour both have filed suit against Rose. In Everly’s suit, she claims Rose, among other things, punched, kicked, slapped and threw her. Seymour's suit was similar in nature, and she even found support from Everly in proving her case (Seymour’s suit was preceded by one from Rose, who alleged she kicked and grabbed him at a party).

Also, Rose has been arrested for clobbering a neighbor over the head with a bottle. But Rose wasn’t nearly the band’s only out-of-control player.

Clarke’s predecessor, Izzy Stradlin, was arrested for urinating in an airplane and verbally assaulting a stewardess. Slash and Duff Rose McKagan (bassist) cursed on live TV during an American Music Awards broadcast.

Most of the band members have acknowledged problems with drugs and alcohol (a rider in their contract back in 1988 while on tour with Aerosmith insisted Guns N' Roses confine their substance use to the dressing room so as not to tempt Aerosmith).

The band has been accused of being homophobic and racist and was criticized for a song about convicted murderer Charles Manson.

Clarke may have gotten out just in time.

He has successfully remained out of the band's negative spotlight, though who knows what could have happened if he stayed in what could be a sinking ship.

At this point, there's still no definite word about what Guns N’ Roses will be doing next, or when they’ll be doing it. Last year, there were rumors of a breakup since Rose reportedly has been wanting a more industrial sound to the band's music while Slash wants the band to stay with the formula they’re known for.

“You just have different lifestyles," Clarke says of his former bandmates.

His departure, however, doesn't mean Clarke will completely shy away from Guns N’ Roses material when he performs live and solo, though he probably won’t do songs from the band that were recorded before he came on board.

“I might sneak in a little snippet from The Spaghetti Incident?” he says of the band’s 1993 release of relatively obscure punk songs.

But most of the show will draw from Pawn Shop Guitars, as well as Clarke’s late ’80s stint with the group Kills for Thrills.

He calls his album’s title an in-side joke with guitar players “trying to find cheap guitars for no money.”

The album is a different effort from the crunching hard-rock sounds Guns N’ Roses fans would expect. He prefers a slightly more pop edge, as opposed to the kind of music he recorded with Guns N’ Roses.

“I loved Appetite for Destruction, but I also love my record. That’s my music, everything I’ve always wanted to play.”

Pawn Shop Guitars already has spawned three singles: Cure Me. . .Or Kill Me...; Tijuana Jail; and Johanna's Chopper.

The album includes the Beatlesque Block, the rootsy rocker Skin & Bones, and two songs fans of classic rock should recognize: the Rolling Stones’ Dead Flowers and the Clash’s Jail Guitar Doors.

Pawn Shop Guitars contains a dizzying array of musicians, including six drummers, five guitarists, three bassists and three piano-keyboardists.

His former bandmates are part of that lineup: Rose provides piano and vocals on Dead Flowers; Slash is on lead guitar for Tijuana Jail and Cure Me. . .Or Kill Me....

Clarke, who grew up in Euclid and Lake County, is looking forward to playing at home for the first time. “When you go home, you want it to go well. But I don’t know what to expect.”
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