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1993.02.26 - Star Tribune - Guns N’ Roses guitarist takes the lead (Izzy)

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1993.02.26 - Star Tribune - Guns N’ Roses guitarist takes the lead (Izzy) Empty 1993.02.26 - Star Tribune - Guns N’ Roses guitarist takes the lead (Izzy)

Post by Blackstar on Mon May 20, 2019 3:22 pm

1993.02.26 - Star Tribune - Guns N’ Roses guitarist takes the lead (Izzy) 1993_098
1993.02.26 - Star Tribune - Guns N’ Roses guitarist takes the lead (Izzy) 1993_099


Guns N’ Roses guitarist takes the lead

By Jon Bream/Staff Writer

Guns N’ Roses rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradiin never contemplated being a lead singer.

"I never thought about it,’’ he said, “I suppose when I was in high school, I thought that it might be cool to be a lead singer. At a few drunken keg parties, I’d sing a couple of Van Halen songs, but I
was so drunk I don't remember if we ever finished a song.”

Stradiin used to serve as surrogate lead singer at Guns N’ Roses rehearsals because singer Axl Rose didn't like to rehearse. When Stradiin decided to form his own band last year, he appointed himself lead singer.

"It was more out of necessity than anything," said Stradiin, who will
bring his band, the Ju Ju Hounds, to First Avenue on Saturday. "I figured I could sing enough to get the songs across. I enjoy singing. I didn't want to try to find a singer. I didn’t want to try to work with a singer. I figured that it's one less problem we're going to have to deal with.”

The Ju Ju Hounds came together as a recording project. Stradlin left the Los Angeles-based Guns N' Roses in November 1991 because he couldn’t stand the circus-like atmosphere surrounding the biggest rock band in the world. “Living with that kind of stuff day to day takes its toll,” said the 30-year-old rock star. “I left because I figured there's got to be a simpler way to get through life day to day.”

He retreated to his hometown of Lafayette, Ind., and began jamming with bassist Jimmy Ashhurst, who in turn called some friends, including ex-Georgia Satellites guitarist Rick Richards and drummer Charlie Quintana, who was playing with Bob Dylan.

To Stradlin, this group of musicians felt like a band when they were recording. Last September, the Ju Ju Hounds played their first gig in Chicago. Their album, “Izzy Stradlin & the Ju Ju Hounds," came out in October and the quartet took to the road, first in Europe, now in the United States.

Before the European tour, the band rehearsed some Guns N’ Roses songs because, after all, Stradlin had written such GNR favorites as "Patience," “Mr. Brownstone" and "Double Talkin’ Jive."

"It didn’t feel right at all," Stradlin said, "so we ended up leaving it behind."

The Ju Ju Hounds tried rehearsing GNR tunes again before the U.S. tour, but again dropped the songs. "I know some people want to hear it. Guns N’ Roses is touring America this year so if they really want to see it, they should see it with Axl singing it," Stradlin said.
The Hounds perform material from
their album plus some classic-rock tunes and blues numbers by Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. "It’s just simple rock. I haven’t thrown down the mike and left the stage yet," said the frontman, taking a jab at the antics of his former band.

"It’s a new band," Stradlin continued. "Doing what we’re doing is like breaking [in] a new band. You have to start from ground zero and work it up. We have a bit of a head start, being that I was in Guns N' Roses and people know my name."

For the record, Stradlin’s real name is Jeff Isbel. Izzy was nickname and he was going to adapt the stage name Izzy Stranded at "a point where I had no job, no car, no money. And I thought, ‘Naw, that’s too pessimistic.’ ”


Izzy Stradlin & the Ju Ju Hounds

With: My Little Funhouse
Where: First Avenue, 7th St. and 1st Av. N., Minneapolis
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $14 and $16. Call 338-8388

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