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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

2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy

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2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy Empty 2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy

Post by Blackstar Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:12 pm



Transcript:

Dizzy: You guys can level? Can you hear me okay?

Man1: Alright, we're live everybody. Thanks for joining us. So we've got very special guest. We got Dizzy Reed from Guns N' Roses. Dizzy, thanks so much for coming on.

Dizzy: Yeah, it's my pleasure, man. It's my pleasure.

Jeff: Thank you very much.

Man1: So how long have you been back from Australia? Because you were there like last week, decided doing a lot of press and you just show at Frankies.

Dizzy: Got back like a week ago. About a week ago, yeah.

Man1: Okay, so you've had some time to relax then.

Dizzy: I've had a week to relax and I'm going to Wisconsin on, well, tomorrow night.

Jeff: Oh yeah.

Man1: So are you guys doing some shows with Hookers & Blow or are you-

Dizzy: Hookers & Blow are doing like an acoustic sort of thing up there, in Green Bay, because I love going to Green Bay in February.

Man1: [laughs]

Jeff: You're probably the only one.

Man1: I'm from Canada. We have cold outside for the next month or so.

Dizzy: You guys are crazy up there, man. You're walking around T-shirts in the middle of winter. It's like 20 below and you guys are out there.

Man1: Yeah, that's great. That's like a Starbucks patio day for us.

Dizzy: Do you know, -40 is where Celsius and Fahrenheit meet?

Man1: That's right. So-

Dizzy: I learned that in Regina.

Man1: Yeah, I saw you guys in Edmonton this past summer and then Jeff and I went to LA just to go see you guys as well.

Jeff: Yeah. Staples Center the day after Thanksgiving.

Dizzy: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that was great.

Jeff: Awesome.

Man1: So Jeff, you want to get started?

Jeff: Yeah, I'm happy to, Dizzy, thanks so much for joining us because it's Dizzy Fuckin' Read, ladies and gentlemen. I mean, takes a swig. I guess we could start off by like where you started off, brother, like, who are your music influences and why?

Dizzy: My musical influences are, you know, it's... The very first thing I could think of is probably Booker T and the MG's, I think, because I was starting to learn how to play the organ and I was getting into pop and rock music at that time, I was probably like eight or nine years old.

Jeff: Your grandmother was teaching you?

Dizzy: Yes. My grandparents lived in an apartment upstairs from us, and I'd go up there after school and just goof around, beat on an organ, my brother and I would make much noise. And one day she asked me to learn how to play a song and I watched her play and I played it back. So that's... she kind of saw that I had a talent. And then, yeah, so I was getting into rock and pop music. My dad put on Booker T and the MG, "Now, wait a second, I know how to play that instrument!" So I kind of made that connection. And I started my own first band when I was 10. And I started getting into like, Deep Purple, John Lord especially, Lynyrd Skynyrd - Billy Powell is an amazing piano player, and all the guys that played with the Stones, man, they're all amazing. Especially the 70s stones.

Jeff: Hell yeah. Like when you were learning, did you go just learn from your grandmother or did you get a couple lessons here and there? Or was it all by ear?

Dizzy: I never really took lessons. I know  when my parents, when I convinced my folks that I was serious about being in a band and playing keyboards and singing, I think - just to sort of make themselves feel a little bit better - my mom started taking me to piano lessons. But I wouldn't practice the lesson, I'd come back the next week, you know, I'd go home and I'd start, you know try to learn Zeppelin or some Stones song or something, and I'd go to my lesson the next week and I'd play it back and she go, "Oh my God, you must have practiced all week." And I never even looked at it. The weird thing is like, it's good... and later on I took some theory and it got some structure and it helped a lot and everybody should take that, but I just wanted to jump into the fun stuff right away.

Jeff: Right.

Dizzy: So I never really took lessons. I was fortunate enough to be around some very talented people when I was younger and along the way and that, you know, I could learn from. It's like, you unlock certain little secrets and then, you know, everything makes sense after a while.

Man1: So were your parents pretty supportive of you, like, going into music and being in a band, like, as your career?

Dizzy: I don't know if they ever thought that it would... They were very supportive, but I think they thought it would just pass, you know. But I stuck with it and they never stopped supporting, they never stopped backing me up, they're always behind me 100%. I'm really lucky to have had such cool parents. And, you know, I got to give my brother a lot of credit too, because I've got an older brother, Rob, and he - in addition to supporting me - he also turned me on to a lot of cool music that I might not have, you know, discovered.

Jeff: Now, you're born in Illinois, you moved with your parents to Colorado. How did you make it to LA?

Dizzy: Man, you guys have done your homework [laughs]. I moved out here with my band, I was in a band in Denver. I joined when I was like 20. My first band, we were together from the time we were 10 years old till we were like 20 years old and then we broke up and so everyone else kind of went their separate ways. And I started looking for a new band and I saw this band play in Denver, they're called Gauntlet at the time. They're opening for Ratt and all the girls were screaming and all the guys were sitting down and booing. I went, "I want to join that band!"

[laughs]

Dizzy: And the weirdest thing, man, is, like, I was working for my dad at the time. He got this grocery store and this guy that lived in Denver got a job there and he started talking about that band and I'm like, "You know those guys?" And he's like, "Yeah, I went to school with the drummer." So he introduced me and I ended up, you know, joining their band and moving out to LA with them.

Jeff: Okay. So from from from there, how long did it take you to start playing the club scenes? And getting your guys's name out there and starting to open for good bands and stuff like that?

Dizzy: Oh, we jumped in right away. I think we did our first show at the Troubadour, just we had to find a bass player first because our bass player's is wife wouldn't let him come back to LA. I don't know why. but So, yeah, we found a bass player and then we were playing the Troubadour pretty quickly. And we've worked hard. You know, back then if you worked hard and and if you weren't a dick and you were good, you know, you could work your way up the ladder pretty quickly. And I think we did.

Jeff: Did any of your former bands ever open for Guns back in the club days?

Dizzy: No, no, we never got on the bill with GN'R. I'm not sure why. I think maybe... I don't know.

Jeff: While leading into that, how did you kind of come on to Axl's radar?

Dizzy: Well, my band, The Wild, we moved into a little studio off of Gardner street, Gardner and Sunset, right in the middle of Hollywood. And we were like, sort of living in this little dump of a place. It was really small. We slept on the floor between our amps. We ended up moving into the big studio. There a bigger studio next door with the air conditioning. Like, this was not made for people to live in. It was horrifying and looking back, yeah, I couldn't do it again I think. But we moved into this big studio and Guns N' Roses moved into the studio next door to us.

Jeff: Oh wow.

Dizzy: So we became neighbors. And boy, we are great neighbors.

Man1: So during that time like was there a lot of other guys? Like was West Arkeen living in that area too? Because he would always hang with Guns N' Roses and they wrote a bunch of stuff.

Dizzy: I gotta tell you this, the guy that managed the studio, we told him we were moving out so he had it in the want ads, or whatever, in The Recycler, that this place was for rent. So people were coming by to look at it and one day we were - just me and the drummer, my friend Sid, we're still good friends - we were - I don't know what the hell we were doing, drinking beer or something - and the door comes flying open and Slash, Duff, Steven and Izzy walked in. Actually, Steven came down first and looked around and liked it and so he went and got those guys and came back. Later that night, Axl walked in with West Arkeen and that's the first time I met him.

Man1: Oh, wow.

Jeff: Yeah, wow.

Man1: So you must have heard, like, because you guys were like literally living within the same quarter as each other, you probably heard a lot of the stuff they were working on, they probably heard a lot of the stuff you guys were working on with the Wild.

Dizzy: Yeah, I remember they used to, when they were practicing Axl would be out in the parking lot. Cuz they didn't have like a PA, you know, so sometimes I'd go out there and just talk to him. I liked what I was hearing. They didn't really comment on our stuff. I don't know why. [laughs] But, I do know there was like a pay phone in the office which was in between the two studios and the manager would run a line out into each studio, so you could get incoming calls but you couldn't call out unless you had access to the pay phone. So if they were practicing [and] the phone would ring, we'd pick it up and it'd be like their girlfriends and we get them to bring us pizza and stuff and then they do the same thing to us. So yeah, it's good fun.

Jeff: Right on.

Dizzy: You gotta eat, man.

Jeff: Hell, yeah. Well, I mean, okay, so as the story goes, you guys weren't breaking as big as Guns at the time. And you were finding yourself in some financial hardships and you are reconsidering possibly leaving[?] your career. Do you remember what you were doing and where you were when Axl gave you the call and said, "Yo man, what's up? Do you have time to hang out for a minute and talk about this band?"

Dizzy: Well, financial hardships doesn't begin to describe it. We were on Skid Row. I think I was way past the point of caring at that time. I mean, we were pretty deep into it and I just, you know, I wasn't gonna give up. I wasn't gonna turn around. I wasn't gonna... So yeah, I would have stuck it out no matter what. But yeah, I was at my ex wife's place. And she had just moved into this new place. And I got a call. Somehow they tracked me down. They needed to be in the studio to record Civil War. I hadn't really talked to them, you know, in a few months at that point. But I kind of got this, "Where where are you? I can't get ahold of you." And that's when I said, "I don't live anywhere. I'm living on people's couches," that mean that, just like, you know, we all used to do. And I think that kind of put some sort of awareness into my situation. Anyway, I did go down to the studio. I did record it and I guess it was about a week later I got a call. I ended up moving into this other apartment where this girl moved out. There's a month left on the lease. I was just going to, you know, squat there. And I ended up getting a phone call from Del James, actually, saying, "Congratulations, you're in Guns N' Roses!" And yeah, that was pretty cool. And I read it in the LA Weekly later that week. It said, the girl said, it was like a little blurb, you know, and it said, "Dizzy, Izzy and Slash in the same band." And she liked that.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dizzy: But yeah, so I ended up, you know, keeping that apartment and went down to get my first check and Civil War was playing on the radio.

Man1: Hell yeah. So this was after you recorded Civil War? That's when Del James called you?

Dizzy: Yes, yeah. Based on the on the timeline in my memory, yes, that's that's how it went.

Man1: One thing I was wondering, like when you went to go record Civil War, I guess any song off those Illusions albums, like, did Axl play on the piano like what he wanted you to play? Or was it he kind of just said, "Play what you think you should play"?

Dizzy: The songs that he was gonna play, he played. And so the songs that he did play once he played. There are other songs I think I had a little bit of a... Basically, if I thought something needed piano and I tried it and they liked it, it was cool. So that's what I did. Piano and organ, basically, and a little bit of clavinet. Just stuck to the basics.

Jeff: Oh yeah. So from there your first show's Rock in fucking Rio. Well, the big one.

Dizzy: Yeah, yeah, it was pretty big.

Jeff: And tell us what kind of fucking butterflies are going through your stomach when you go to play in front of that many people, going from sitting almost on Skid Row, do a couple club dates, and then bam!

Dizzy: Well, here's the thing, I'd never really been out of the country before. I'd been to Tijuana, you know, Nogales. So yeah, suddenly I was in Brazil so far, you know. They airlines lost my suitcase, so this is my first big gig, my first gig of any kind, you know, I did not, you know, I didn't get to ride on a bus and not nothing like this, on that level yet. It was pretty big. I had to go clothes shopping and I remember I went to a flea market with Izzy. And it was like this light shine down and he goes, "Look, what about those pants right there, man? Those look like they would fit you." And they are these like brown fringed leather sort of pants. I mean, it was in Brazil at a flea market, it could have been, I don't know, rat leather or something. I don't know.

[laughs]

Dizzy: But they fit me, man. It was amazing. It was a miracle. So I had those and then I just kind of, you know, went to like the Brazilian mall and did some shopping and found some cool stuff. But, yes, so that's how it all started off, you know, with losing my suitcase. But I overcame and I ate lots of Brazilian pizza, which, back then, you put ketchup and mustard on it, which I thought was cool. And drank a lot of beer.

Man1: That's the spirit.

Jeff: That's the spirit.

Man1: One thing I wanted to ask you is when you - going back a bit - when you joined Guns N' Roses, did they do any pranks on you to, like, initiate you to being part of the band or like any kind of like hazing?

Dizzy: I think you'd do that, you know... You know, some of the guys really weren't keen on the idea of having me, you know, in the band, I think. They made it a little difficult for me. I wouldn't call it a hazing or or pranks or anything because those are kind of fun, sometimes you look back... But I wasn't going anywhere. Eventually we all became, you know, good friends.

Jeff: Oh yeah. Now, there were a lot of theme parties on the Illusion tour. Is there anyone in particular in any city or venue that stands out? That you were like,, "That was one hell of a party!"

Dizzy: Ah man, you know, I think I would just kind of... I was in awe of the whole thing. I remember there was like a Roman theme one time and they brought in like a pig on a stick. You know, a big skewer like a full hog or something that had been roasted. Yeah, that was interesting I thought. And they had like a race car theme in in Indianapolis, of course, but everyone was not drinking milk.

Man1: So on those 2 1/2 years touring you guys did, you know, when you first joined the band, is there anything that is there any moment that stands out of those 2 1/2 years?

Dizzy: You know, I remember the first time I had my birthday on stage in Germany. That was pretty cool. I just, you know, it's happened a lot since then. I don't really care, I don't count birthdays anymore. Back then it was kind of cool. Having like 40,000 Germans sing happy birthday to me. It was pretty cool.

Jeff: Oh yeah.

Dizzy: It doesn't happen every day. You know, back then it was just, I was in.... It was amazing, you know. It was a dream come true for me, really, getting into travel like that and play in front of all those great fans and just, you know, just living it up and enjoying the moment. And, you know, I'm so grateful every day that I wake up and go, "Man, I can't believe I get to do this for a living, so cool!"

Jeff: Hell yeah. I have a question, I remember back before, just before the Illusion albums were released, you did an interview where you were talking about the LA scene. And I'm sorry to go so far back, but we can't find it and I'm trying to find it. The interview itself, you said that you used to have to pay to play in LA?

Dizzy: Oh yeah. Well that was-

Jeff: [?] or was that BBC?

Dizzy: I don't know. I do remember talking about that. I was kind of on a campaign to make that stop, actually.

Jeff: Right.

Dizzy: Because, yeah, it wasn't cool, you know. But that's what, you know, people were doing back then. And I remember they had this thing at the Whiskey on Monday nights, it's called the No Bozo Jam Night. It was basically the first time that, you know - all the clubs do it now - but they have like a, you know, shared back line and, you know, all these bands come in and they get up and do like, you know, three songs. So the place would be packed. And like The Wild and Love Hate used to sort of headline it. And I remember showing up there one night when, you know, I've been going on for a few months, and we were doing it and I walk up and they tried to charge us to get in. I'm like, "But we're playing, you trying to charge us to get into our own show? Are you serious?"

Jeff: That was the exact quote from the interview. I just can't remember where where it came from.

Dizzy: I just wanted people to be aware of that. But now, paying to play is kind of norm. It really is. I mean, bands on certain, pretty high up do it, I guess. And now it's like, you know, bands pay to be on the bill, to open for, you know, one of the things I'm doing it and that's cool. I don't care. But, you know, back then it was, you know, people didn't have any money and it was just, it was kind of rough.

Jeff: I remember like I came home from my junior high school dance, our basement wasn't finished, so I was skateboarding. It was in the winter and the basement and our local radio station was playing the interview and they're playing like before the album had been released. And I literally stopped on my skateboard and I was like, "What the... people have to pay to play?" And from this day, I will remember that quote from you to the day I die. Like where I was, what I was doing, was like-

Dizzy: Just to clarify, if it's a conscious decision or something that, you know, you're cool with doing, that's fine, you know-

Jeff: -another like venues give you like a stack of tickets to sell to your friends now and that's how you get paid. I get that concept, you know, you gotta get a little street team going on, but-

Dizzy: -yeah, you gotta work, man.

Jeff: It is what it is.

Dizzy: Yeah, I mean, back then it was just... You know, because we did work really hard, you know, we got people in the clubs and it just didn't seem right. But now it's like they have to do that to pay me, so I don't mind [laughs].

Jeff: Yeah, right.

Dizzy: But yeah, you know, you should have a choice. That's what I'm saying. There should be a free venue for everyone to do anything, not just music. You know, if it's poetry reading or, you know, dance, or putting on a play or a show, there should be a forum somewhere where you can go do that. And it shouldn't have to be forced into paying money to do your thing.

Jeff: I agree. Now the Illusion tour is over, we're gonna do, you know, The Spaghetti Incident, like, what was your reflection on that album, like going into the studio?

Dizzy: Well, you know, we actually began... we tracked a lot of that stuff when we were doing Use Your Illusions as part of that whole thing, because, I mean, it was marathon recording session.

Man1: I remember reading, like, you guys would do The Spaghetti Incident to kind of take the pressure off making the double album.This is just a bunch of fun covers you guys always wanted to do, and then you recorded songs in different cities as the tour went on, as I understood.

Dizzy: Yeah, well, as usual, I think they're....I don't know for sure, but I guess there was probably some pressure from the label or something to do something more popular. It was supposed to be all punk covers, you know, but that's how like Hair of the Dog ended up being on there, which is great. And we did Since I Don't Have You, we recorded that in Boston, yeah, which ended up being the first, maybe the only, video or single off that record, I don't remember.

Jeff: I think so, yeah.

Dizzy: But that was just, I mean it was something that I can't say I remember Axl singing that, you know, Slash played it one time a long time ago and he sang it good so we ended up working it up and it turned out cool. That's actually, you know, that's one of my favorite records, man. I think it's kind of overlooked sometimes. I mean, it still sounds great.

Jeff & Man1: I love it.  

Man1: I love it, like, you know, I feel like it's under appreciated. My favorite song is Ain't It Fun. I love your guys's cover of that.

Dizzy: And you know what? It is fun.

Man1: It is fun? That's right.  

Dizzy: It's a lot of fun, yeah. So now that you're out and you're touring, I mean, you've toured with Guns, Hookers & Blow, the whole nine, I mean, do you have a favorite city or venue to play in while you're going out on the road?

Dizzy: You know, that's a tough one because we're in and out so much. There's certain places I like to get to. I'd like to go to Denver because it's my hometown, Chicago, because I have a lot of family there. It's always good to get over to London, Paris, those cool places like that. Yeah, you know, there's a lot of great cities. You know, I like it up in Canada too. Did I mention that?

Jeff: Is there a city you haven't played yet that you want to play? That's like on the top of your list, maybe your bucket list?

Dizzy: Yeah, I wanna play Honolulu, god dammit! Let's go to Hawaii. Let's go to Alaska.

Jeff: Promoters on Hawaii and Alaska, listen up.

Dizzy: It's just hard to get the production over there, you know.

Man1: Yeah. So one one thing I was wondering, Dizzy, like, do you get a chance to actually do a lot of sightseeing when you're on tour or is it difficult because people recognize who you are?

Dizzy: It's not so bad for me. I can get out and about. You know, some places, you get to Europe, South America gets pretty crazy. It's kind of dangerous, actually. You don't want to leave the hotel. You know, it's dangerous because people, they lose their minds, man. It's crazy. You know what I mean?

Man1: I read you did an interview and I guess maybe you can explain the call[?], you were in South America, you were playing a show today, [?] rip your clothes off on stage or something?

Dizzy: Yeah, my shirt, everything just got ripped off. I went down there by myself and did a show with a band called The Coverheads - who are great, amazing and they're good friends of mine, now - and, yeah, we played this place called the Roxy and it was just completely jam packed, went on about two in the morning or something and there was a thrust and I had an acoustic guitar and I walked out and they just tore everything off. My shirt, everything, just clean off. My jewelry, everything, it was crazy.

Jeff: So your guitar's just blocking your junk and you're trying to get to stage?

Dizzy: My pants stayed on. Yeah, [?].

Man1: But I guess it's just like the fandom down there like they're that appreciative of you coming down there and playing.

Dizzy: Yeah. But it just goes a little overboard.

Man1: You're absolutely right. It's crazy.

Dizzy: It's madness. It's madness. But we love them because they're so passionate. We love going down there. It's a different world, it really is.

Jeff: Absolutely. Now, I mean, you're on the road now with Hookers & Blow and you're starting, like you said, tomorrow you're leaving for Wisconsin Lake. Day-to-day, life to life, how's that any different than being on the road with Guns? I mean besides being away from home and family? Like, is it just more of a mellow ride or do you feel-

Dizzy: Well, the venues are smaller, that's for sure [laughs]. And the accommodations aren't quite as good. But I don't mind.

Man1: You guys have a Hookers & Blow like tour bus, right? I think you said "cocaine font" it's got on it?

Dizzy: Yes. Thank you, I invented the cocaine font. Thank you very much. Yes, we have our own tour bus, we have our tour bus route this last tour that we did. We did 18 shows in a row down here. It was awesome, it was great, all the shows were great. All the people were amazing and the bus was great. The bus driver was even better, it was fantastic.

Man1: So how did you guys come up with a name like the Hookers & Blow for a band?

Dizzy: You know, at some point, I don't remember exactly when, I thought I wanted to call the band Hookers & Blow. You know, a friend of mine used to say that all the time when things get [?], "Let's go get hookers and blow, hookers and blow, I need hookers and blow!" So I just took that and ran with it. I really wanted to call a band that. And so I was doing this jam night down at the Joint, things had really slowed down the GN'R and we were going to... These guys came up to me and asked me if I wanted to go do some shows on the East Coast, they had some connections back there, just to cover songs. And I said, "Look, as long as we, you know, vow to do everything opposite of what we've been trying to do as musicians, we're not going to try to get a record deal, we don't care if anyone shows up, we're not going to rehearse, and I don't want to call it 'Dizzy Reed's All Star Band,' I want to call it 'Hookers & Blow'." And they said, "Okay," and that's how it started. And then I came up with a T-shirt and it was all downhill from there.

Jeff: What is the hardest part for touring with you overall with any band?

Dizzy: Just for me now, at this point in my life, it's the travel. It's just the spending that time on a bus or in a van or on an airplane, and trying to make the most of that time and just packing that god damn suitcase every other day. That's the hardest part for me. But, you know, I don't mind, I wouldn't have it any other way and I'm really lucky.

Jeff: Oh yeah, I mean, congratulations on everything. Now you have the new album that just dropped on us. I'm loving it. Cheers 2 R Oblivion, I Celebrate, I mean, I love the opening track. You know, Vegas track, I mean, the lyric, "When you open your mouth, I can't hear you with my sunglasses on," or something like that. I love that. I love that riff.

Dizzy: "I can't see without my shades. Should have gone the other way," yeah. I didn't actually write those lyrics. Ricky Warwick wrote that, him and Del.

Jeff: Right on. Well, I mean on the song I Celebrate on the vocals, it seems like either heavily influenced by Axl or is he coming in there and is he ripping some voice?

Dizzy: No, unfortunately he's not singing on it. But, I mean, of course he's an influence on me, but I want to make it clear, I cannot sing as good as he can, not even close. I could never hit those notes. He's the hardest working person, you know, nobody works harder than he does and it's just amazing night after night.

Man1: Well, it's amazing, you guys play like - the two times I saw you guys on this tour - you guys play like 3 hours and 40 minutes.

Dizzy: Yeah, something like that, just another day at the office.

Jeff: Wow. I mean, day in and day out. I mean, at least you're rocking with the heaviest rocking band in the fucking world, man.

Dizzy: It goes by quick if you know what you're doing.

Jeff: Yeah. So I mean, what's your favorite song to play live now with Hookers? And what's your favorite song live to play now with Guns?

Dizzy: With Guns, I'd say it's probably, you know, like, I still like playing Civil War, just because it's that one song, you know, the first one I played with them. And I like Paradise City, because I know that I can finally go take a piss. God, with Hookers & Blow, I don't know, man. I don't really remember much of the show. We do some good versions of everything, really. Come check it out.

Jeff: We have a constituent in Arizona who saw the Arizona show, and-

Dizzy: It's a place with the swimming pool?

Jeff: I think so, yeah.

Man1: Yeah. He went to... I'm to remember what city in Arizona...

Jeff: Highbailey[?].

Man1: Yeah, Highbailey[?]. So yeah, he went and saw you, I think he got a photo with you as well as Todd Kearns.

Dizzy: Okay, yeah. Yeah, that place is weird, man. It was like this outdoor sort of club. It had a big pool, right in front of the stage, and I'm thinking, "Do you guys realize that if that pool wasn't there, you could have twice as many people here?" Pretty weird.

Jeff: But so he said that, like, your shows, you got some more of the deeper cuts you got, you know, Bad Obsessions, you've got, you know, Dust N' Bones. I mean, with all due respect and love for the band, we've also had another constituent ask you on this tour as well say, "Well, that's mostly up to Axl." Is there any things on the shelf that you wish you could bring on maybe in June? Maybe we can expect some more tunes? Or what's your take on that? Are you fine with the setlist or do you want to go into some deeper tracks?

Dizzy: You know, I'll do whatever, man, honestly. The thing about it is we're only going to add songs. We're not going to take any away. So that means it's just going to get longer. So five hours to play everything, I don't know.

Jeff: I'll buy a ticket for that.

Man1: Well, it was funny because we're talking about coming and seeing you guys in Europe and we're just trying to figure out what cities to go to. But like, have you guys begun rehearsals yet for the tour in Europe or, because you're on the road, you won't be doing that till later?

Dizzy: We haven't started rehearsals yet and I haven't really heard when, yet. You know, I'll find out, I'm the last one to know, I'll get a call and be ready. So I don't know. I just want to clarify, with Hookers & Blow, those songs that we do, we do them because yes, there's piano on them, but also they're the only ones that can I can actually sort of sing. That's why we do those songs. And just coincidentally, you know those songs, a lot of those songs aren't, you know, in the current Guns N' Roses set list, but that's not by design. I've been doing those songs for... Hookers & Blow has had the same basic set list for about 15 years. But as far as rehearsals with GN'R, I don't know. I'll be ready when they call me. It's always refreshing and fun to try to work up new songs. It's a lot of work for all of us, you know. For me, especially if it's some of the later stuff or off Chinese Democracy, cuz I have to dissect all those parts and try to figure out how we're going to get them live.

Jeff: Yeah.

Man1: Like I was happy when I saw you guys in Edmonton. I was praying you guys gonna play Madagascar but I didn't get it at that show. But then I saw you in LA and I was so happy you guys added it to the set list.

Dizzy: Yes. So you just, you know, if you wish hard enough it'll happen.

Man1: So the other thing I want to ask you about was you talked about Del James helped you make the record that you got out now. So I know Del's like a man of many hats. Is he your tour manager with Guns N' Roses?

Dizzy: He's one of them, yes, I think it's official... The official title last time was "Road Manager."

Man1: Yeah, I think on Twitter it says "Tour Mangler."

Dizzy: Well, there's another one. A lot of official titles and he does wear many hats. You're right.

Man1: So did he co-write a lot of the songs on the record, too, with you?

Dizzy: He helped me with a lot of lyrics, yes, and also some of the arrangements. He also - him and Ricky - brought in the song Vegas and I just kind of thought, you know, fix it up a little bit. The main thing about that is, you know, he was sort of the catalyst, you know, he got that ball rolling. Del, along with a few other people, like Richard Fortus and Mike Duda and a few others, were, you know, trying to convince me to make a record because I had some demos that I had worked out and they really liked them. So Del ended up finding a studio and so he co-produced it with me and did a great job. We work very well together.

Man1: So for how many years did you like did it take to write the the actual record?

Dizzy: I wasn't really keeping track. But you know, probably three or four years before that I started, you know, coming up with a lot of that material. There's, you know, a few songs that we kind of wrote once we were in the studio, like Rock'n'roll Ain't Easy is another one, cuz we needed a song like that. So I kind of sat down, put that together and Mystery In Exile is another one. But all the other stuff had been sort of compiling for a few years, not more than four years, probably.

Man1: Well, yeah, I think the title is very appropriate, especially when you look at rock'n'roll now, there's not many.... It seems like it's so much harder to be a rock band than it was back when you guys started.

Dizzy: And it was hard back then, so yeah. It's just different, you know. Things are different now. Back then the only way you could be heard was by, you know, getting people into a club or, you know, somehow making a demo tape. We didn't have the things that we have now as far as like recording. You had to get into a studio somehow and, you know, at most you had money for one day of studio time. And so you try to like cram in as many songs as possible and just, you know, end up being subpar, never sounded like you wanted it to sound. And that's what you had to go shop around. Now you can make a record in your living room. I can make a record right here, right now, in this studio and it would sound great. Well, I mean, sonically it would sound good.

Jeff: Yeah, times have definitely changed.

Dizzy: Yeah. So I think, you know, kids coming up now, it's just a total different ball game. But, you know, so if you're getting into rock'n'roll, you could get it out there. You can get your music out there and make it sound pretty good. But yeah, you really still have to go play in front of people. And that bit of it is shrinking, you know, it's venues and and just the places for rock'n'roll to happen and to be heard, but whatever. It's always persevered and probably will this time too, I'm sure.

Man1: So you mentioned kids, like, you have kids, are your kids into the same kind of music you grew up on, or are they into completely different genre of music?

Dizzy: You know, they all have their own unique taste. They're all grown up now. They're all adults, by the way. I have one grandchild.

Man1 & Jeff: Congratulations.

Dizzy: Thank you. I think they like... you know, there's certain songs, bands, genres, I guess, where we sort of cross, but they listen to a lot of different stuff. My son listens to really heavy stuff. I think my girls listen to a lot of country. And I don't know, maybe they don't listen to music at all, maybe they're sick of it because.... I don't know.

Jeff: So if you were to walk up into any - well, if you could find one - record store nowadays and you saw kids rifling through and picking up his first Guns N' Roses album and he flipped to the back [?] to song catalog, which song would you be like, "Start with that one."

Dizzy: I don't know. Not to me obvious, I wouldn't want to say the obvious one, maybe I'd say... I don't know. Nightrain maybe? Nightrain would be a good one, and Rocket Queen.

Jeff: Rocket Queen is definitely way up there for me.

Dizzy: Yeah, yeah. I mean, you know, I'm sure at that point he's probably heard Welcome To The Jungle, otherwise I'd say that.

Man1: So-

Jeff: Go ahead [?]

Man1: Go ahead, Jeff.

Jeff: How did you end up hooking up with Golden Robot records in Australia?

Dizzy: Oh, that's a good question. So yeah, my record had been done and they took a long time to finish it, 10 years, but it was finally done and we're trying to find a home for it and weren't having some luck, really, didn't have much luck. And Richard Fortus played on, you know, a lot of the song on the record so he's always mentioning it to people. And Angry Anderson was opening for Guns - or Rose Tattoo, I can't remember. And he's on that label. He's on Golden Robot Records and the president, the CEO, the head of the label, Mark, was actually out with Angry Anderson, you know, helping him, he's a tour manager for him. And Richard got to talking to him about it and he mentioned he had a label and he said, you know, Dizzy's got a record that needs a home and put us in touch. And I liked what he had to say and now it's got a home and every people can hear it. It's out, finally.

Man1: And you guys celebrated the record launch by playing the gig in Sydney, like last week I think.

Dizzy: Yes, the label is based in Australia so that's why we did it down there. Also, you know, the physical release, we just wanted to start down there and see how it went. So we weren't trying to shine them this, you know, anybody else. Like of course it's going to come out here too, we're going to do a release here as well. So yeah, we did it down in Sydney and it was great, it was off the hook, people totally into it. I had a great time and they kept me very busy, but it was great. And my wife's from there so she got to come down and hang out. And we got to celebrate Chinese New Year while we're down there.

Man1: We talked about you guys want to do some tour dates in the States. So how many more months of touring are you guys going to be doing for Hookers & Blow?

Dizzy: We just try to get in whatever we can when we can. So I don't actually remember agreeing to the shows I'm doing in Green Bay, but apparently I did so. Other than this last tour, a lot of times we just go do long weekends because, you know, Alex has got Quiet Riot, tight, I got Guns N' Roses, and we all got other things.

Man1: So if people want to get more information on the tour dates, where's the best place for them to go?

Dizzy: Where's the best? I think we have a Facebook page.

Man1: We'll link to the Facebook page when the interview goes live via the description.

Dizzy: Yeah, yeah.

Jeff: [?] way to order the album and the XY and Z. it'll be all the description for you.

Dizzy: Okay, yeah. It's available digitally now, worldwide, and it'll be coming to the States, the vinyl and the CD - the vinyl's purple, it's bad ass, gotta check it out - so it'll be here very soon. And I'll be coming to some towns to say, "Hi," to whoever I can, whenever I can.

Jeff: Oh yeah. Hope you come close, buddy. I'm in Ohio. The Columbus show didn't happen, so I was going to go up, but I'll have to wait for the next time.

Dizzy: Yeah, there was a bit of a discrepancy as far as money that was supposed to be paid. That's part of the business unfortunately, you know, it's a bummer for us. It's definitely a bummer for people that are going to come.

Jeff: I was actually looking at the itinerary on Polestar. It was like you were north and south and back up north and then back South and I was like and then you hadn't been announced so I was like, "Maybe this might not happen." But if you get close, I'm definitely coming, brother.

Dizzy: Yeah, well, we played two shows, we played Akron and Cleveland actually.

Jeff: Seven hours away.

Dizzy: Oh really? From Columbus? I'm sorry.

Jeff: I'm in Cincinnati, man. [?] I was there for - in the pit - for Steven's first show in so many years. So that was amazing to see you guys all back up there-

Dizzy: Oh cool. That was great.

Jeff: Yeah, I'm way in  the most southeastern point of the of the state. I'm almost in Kentucky.

Dizzy: Yeah, I know where Cincinnati is. I've been there.

Jeff: So yeah, I've seen you here. Go ahead, Sid.

Man1 (Sid, actually): I was gonna say Guns N' Roses of course is touring Europe starting [?] on June 2nd, so we'll put the link for the tickets. You guys probably already know they're coming, so I'm sure the tickets probably sold out for most of the gigs anyways. So what are you most looking forward to like with the summer days coming up, Dizzy?

Dizzy: Well, the main thing is the first show is in Berlin and that's where my grandson lives. So I get to see him. I'm really looking forward to that, yeah, and just getting some good food, man, and seeing some good friends over there. I have a lot of friends over in Europe. Don't really get to see each other that much, so that'll be fun.

Man1: You guys did an amazing run in Europe this past summer, too. I know you're playing a lot of places you didn't play the first time.

Dizzy: Uhhm... We played in Europe last... I can't remember.

Man1: So yeah, you guys played Europe from like, was it, May through June of last year.

Dizzy: Oh yeah, that whole month, okay yeah, we did. I imagine we're probably playing some places we didn't play last time. Like Russia or, I don't know, Scotland, maybe?

Man1: Maybe how you guys are doing Estonia.

Dizzy: Oh really?

Man1: Yeah. God, I've never been there.

Jeff: There you go.

Dizzy: Alright, Estonia. I had a friend who got poisoned there one time, so maybe I'll bring one of those... I'll hire someone to be my food taster.

Jeff: Yeah, right. So I guess we've covered most of it. I guess my ultimate question is, I have to ask you, what is your most Spinal Tap moment on stage, man?

Dizzy: I don't know, it's pretty gross, probably.

Jeff: No censors here.

Dizzy: Okay, So it's more like that, you know, that worst nightmare sort of come true sort of situation. We are playing in India one time, it's an outdoor venue. They had this amazing Indian food, man, it was so good. It was so kick... the best [?] you could ever have. And I decided to wear a full suit that day, you know, the tie and jacket and everything. I had my in-ears on and everything else already. They started rolling the intro music. And I had to use the toilet. There was no way I was going to make it 3 1/2 hours. Emergency, emergency. And the intro tape is rolling, I'm like, "I got a suit on," I'm like, "This is a fucking nightmare!" And we're in the middle of nowhere, India, right? So there's an outhouse, so I go into the house and get my gear off and, you know, do my business. Intro tape still rolling. There's no toilet paper. Now it's gotten worse than my worst nightmare. I don't remember, I think there was a bowl of water.

Man1: Did you have to sacrifice a T-shirt? Or sock?

Dizzy: Yeah, I sacrificed something. But, you know, miraculously I made it on stage just for the downbeat, man, for Chinese Democracy. "Boom, made it!" My tie was a little crooked, but some times these things happen, you know.

Jeff: Rock and roll ain't easy, man.

Dizzy: So just let it be a lesson. Just because it tastes really good doesn't mean that it's not going to have some adverse effect on you.

Man1: That's right. So, one last question I have. So you guys are playing up until the end of July. The question I get from my subscribers and I always tell them, I don't know, are you planning on doing North America again sometime in the future?

Dizzy: I don't know, either. I don't know. Would like to, you know. We'll see. I have no idea. I'm always the last person to know. You guys will know before I do.

Man1: We'll let you know, Dizzy.

Dizzy: Okay, I'll go on the website and see if those guys have any info for me today.

Jeff: We will. We'll have it for you. You will be the first to let everybody know. God, man, it's an honor to just sitting here speaking with you guys. Thank you so much.

Dizzy: Thank you guys, man. Thank you. I really appreciate all you guys are doing. And you know, without you, without you guys, without the fans, there be no music, would be nothing. So we owe all you guys. Thank you very much for for supporting us and keeping rock'n'roll alive, man. We appreciate it.


Last edited by Blackstar on Sat Jan 20, 2024 12:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy Empty Re: 2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy

Post by Blackstar Tue Nov 14, 2023 5:50 am

Excerpts from Blabbermouth:
-------------------------------------

Longtime Guns N' Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed was recently interviewed by Guns N' Roses Central. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.

Asked what the most rewarding thing has been about being in Guns N' Roses for more than 27 years, Dizzy said: "I think the most rewarding thing is, honestly, just… Axl gave me an opportunity early on, and he didn't have to do that. And so my dedication is to him and to that band. And I'm lucky to be able to squeeze this kind of thing [solo concerts] in here and there. And that within itself is rewarding — just being able to be a part of it and perform with them and to get the recognition from the fans. And to be able to use it as a vehicle to have met other great musicians and done other things, like this and like Hookers & Blow and like The Dead Daisies and stuff. So it's been fantastic — it really has."

https://blabbermouth.net/news/dizzy-reed-on-most-rewarding-thing-about-being-in-guns-n-roses-for-27-years
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2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy Empty Re: 2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy

Post by Soulmonster Wed Jan 24, 2024 2:21 pm

Ta-da, finished.
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2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy Empty Re: 2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy

Post by Soulmonster Wed Jan 24, 2024 2:52 pm

Blackstar wrote:Excerpts from Blabbermouth:
-------------------------------------

Longtime Guns N' Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed was recently interviewed by Guns N' Roses Central. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.

Asked what the most rewarding thing has been about being in Guns N' Roses for more than 27 years, Dizzy said: "I think the most rewarding thing is, honestly, just… Axl gave me an opportunity early on, and he didn't have to do that. And so my dedication is to him and to that band. And I'm lucky to be able to squeeze this kind of thing [solo concerts] in here and there. And that within itself is rewarding — just being able to be a part of it and perform with them and to get the recognition from the fans. And to be able to use it as a vehicle to have met other great musicians and done other things, like this and like Hookers & Blow and like The Dead Daisies and stuff. So it's been fantastic — it really has."

https://blabbermouth.net/news/dizzy-reed-on-most-rewarding-thing-about-being-in-guns-n-roses-for-27-years

I can't find this quote in the actual transcribed interview. That is really weird.
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2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy Empty Re: 2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy

Post by Blackstar Wed Jan 24, 2024 3:15 pm

I see that the (defunct) video url in the Blabbermouth article
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dnvr1E8EW3o
is different from this one here:
https://www.mygnrforum.com/topic/220013-our-interview-with-dizzy-reed/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR8qbIuaVIU
(from which the video has been recovered).
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2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy Empty Re: 2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy

Post by Blackstar Wed Jan 24, 2024 3:30 pm

I also noticed that date the video was shared on mygnr was Feb. 28, not Feb. 20.

I wonder if the one on Blabbermouth was a separate clip from the GN'R Central interview or it was a mistake and it was from another interview with Dizzy.
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2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy Empty Re: 2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy

Post by Blackstar Tue Apr 30, 2024 1:10 am

Soulmonster wrote:
Blackstar wrote:Excerpts from Blabbermouth:
------------------------------------

Longtime Guns N' Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed was recently interviewed by Guns N' Roses Central. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.

Asked what the most rewarding thing has been about being in Guns N' Roses for more than 27 years, Dizzy said: "I think the most rewarding thing is, honestly, just… Axl gave me an opportunity early on, and he didn't have to do that. And so my dedication is to him and to that band. And I'm lucky to be able to squeeze this kind of thing [solo concerts] in here and there. And that within itself is rewarding — just being able to be a part of it and perform with them and to get the recognition from the fans. And to be able to use it as a vehicle to have met other great musicians and done other things, like this and like Hookers & Blow and like The Dead Daisies and stuff. So it's been fantastic — it really has."

https://blabbermouth.net/news/dizzy-reed-on-most-rewarding-thing-about-being-in-guns-n-roses-for-27-years
I can't find this quote in the actual transcribed interview. That is really weird.
Mystery solved. It's a mistake from Blabbermouth. The quote is from this interview:

https://www.a-4-d.com/t8167-2018-02-14-wall-of-sound-dizzy-reed-nearly-crestfallen-but-sticking-to-his-guns-audio-interview#35511
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2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy Empty Re: 2018.02.20 - GN'R Central - Interview with Dizzy

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