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1994.11.25 - Orange County Register - Guns N' Roses' Clarke offers up his own arsenal (Gilby)

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1994.11.25 - Orange County Register - Guns N' Roses' Clarke offers up his own arsenal (Gilby) Empty 1994.11.25 - Orange County Register - Guns N' Roses' Clarke offers up his own arsenal (Gilby)

Post by Blackstar on Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:41 am

1994.11.25 - Orange County Register - Guns N' Roses' Clarke offers up his own arsenal (Gilby) 1994_121

Guns N' Roses' Clarke offers up his own arsenal

ROCK: The guitarist takes a solo road, maybe for longer than he thought, but he's got his own material to work with.

The Orange County Register

It must get annoying for Gilby Clarke.

Here he is out with a new band promoting his own new album, "Pawn Shop Guitars."

And all anybody asks about is the other band he's in, Guns N' Roses.

Probably the only thing more annoying is that he can't answer those questions. He just knows he wants to play.

"I had all these songs that, in my mind, weren't Guns N' Roses songs," he said. "I figured I can make a record, I can tour on it, and I can be back to do more stuff."

That may not be needed; at the time of this interview a few weeks back, Clarke's position in GNR looked secure. But since then rumors have floated that he may not be, even though all the band members contributed to his solo album.

"Everybody thought it was going to be hard. I did it all myself. I had a little schedule sheet. Even Axl (Rose), who's hard to get for Guns N' Roses stuff, came down, on time, singing great. It worked like clockwork."

But Clarke himself admitted he was disposable.

"The most important thing is that Guns N' Roses won't ever, ever go away," he said. "Guns N' Roses is pretty much Axl, Slash and Duff. It's what and when they decide to make an album, the rest of us have to work around that album. Some of the members will change over the years. But as long as Axl, Slash and Duff want to make a record together, it'll continue.

"I'm really at their mercy as to when they decide they want to do things," he added. "It could be a year, and I just don't think it's very productive to sit around and wait."

Thus the birth of "Pawn Shop Guitars," an album of hard-rock songs that are poppier and more melodic than the usual Gunners' offerings.

"A lot of people are surprised. They think it's some guy from Guns N' Roses goofing off in the studio," he said. "Sometimes I wish that would go away so people would take it like its own record. The whole record is based around songs, rather than just guitar playing.

"I just wanted to keep it as a guitar player making an album. I used to spend a lot of time going to pawn shops looking for a good find _ and back in the old days I had to actually pawn my guitar for rent money, stuff like that."

Times aren't that tight anymore, but Clarke hit the road anyway.

"I just thought it would be a shame to make a record and not get out there and tour," he said. It includes a stop at the Coach House tonight.

"I'm not one of those people who has 30 or 50 songs and then records four or five. This is my work over the last four or five years. If I write a song and finish it, it means a lot to me. I don't really write that many," he said.

Once someone recommended veteran guitarist/producer Waddy Wachtel as a producer, "I thought, 'That's a great idea.' I've always respected his guitar work. And I figured it'd be good to have a partner in crime," Clarke said. "The whole thing was getting a really good live take. Songs like `Tijuana Jail' are 90 percent live. I just do vocal overdubs."

The album also includes a version of the Clash's "Jail Guitar Doors" and the Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers."

"Those are songs I wish I would have written. 'Dead Flowers' has always been an old favorite," he said. "People always yell out, `Play some Stones!' and I always play 'Dead Flowers' because I know the words."

Frank Black, a Clarke pal since Black's days leading the Pixies, guested on "Jail Guitar Doors."

"If I was going to do the Clash song, I wanted to do it in a punk-style version," Clarke said. "I like the way he plays guitar. I thought it'd be perfect."

If the mellotron on "Black" sounds familiar, it is.

"It's the old George Martin/Beatles board. It's the one, the real one" that the Beatles used on tracks such as "Strawberry Fields Forever," Clarke said. "They had one on the corner and I was goofing off playing it. In the back of my head, I'm going 'That's the one; that is the real one.' "

Once he confirmed that he was right, he had to use it on the album.

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