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1997.11.07 - The Plain Dealer - Gilby Clarke Fans Won't Be Needing 'Hangover' Cure

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1997.11.07 - The Plain Dealer - Gilby Clarke Fans Won't Be Needing 'Hangover' Cure Empty 1997.11.07 - The Plain Dealer - Gilby Clarke Fans Won't Be Needing 'Hangover' Cure

Post by Blackstar on Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:10 pm

Former Guns N' Roses guitarist and Cleveland native Gilby Clarke tries pretty hard not to be pigeon-holed into any one scene. He started his musical life as a member of the power pop combo Candy (who checked in with a tune on Rhino's historical "Poptopia" compilation earlier this year), played pop-metal with Kill for Thrills, moved on to GNR (as a replacement for the departing Izzy Stradlin) and has just released his second solo album, "The Hangover."
"I made a rule with myself a long time ago: I want to play music that I would enjoy listening to," Clarke said. "I've been lucky enough to create the kind of music that I like and make a living from it. Growing up, I listened to the things that were around me: Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith. When I became a musician, I started getting into the Beatles and the Stones, and they helped me with my songwriting. At my age, I had just the legend of the Beatles, I didn't grow up with it."
Listening to "Hangover" (which includes a cover of the Fab Four's "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"), you get the feeling that Clarke indeed has a relatively wide range of influences, even if most of them are white and didn't make records before 1965. The snazzy glam-pop of T-Rex leader Marc Bolan (Clarke's idol) is all over the album, as is some rudimentary guitar-based, '80s-style crunch rock.
"This album is a lot more consistent," he said. "On the first record, each song had a style. Either it was rock song or a blues song or a pop song. Every song on the new one has a little rock, a little pop and a little blues in it."
Vets such as Blondie drummer Clem Burke and Los Angeles session guitarist Waddy Wachtel helped Clarke on "Hangover"; his touring band is a three-piece with another Cleveland native, ex-Kiss drummer Eric Singer, on board.
Speaking of his last band situation, his 15 minutes with GNR, Clarke said, "When (frontman Axl Rose) explained to me how he wanted to change (GNR's) music, it was clear to me that I was going to be a pretty small part of what was going to go on. He basically worked me out of the band and Slash out of the band, and now Duff and Matt have left. He wants it to be his band. We wanted a band where we play together."
Which "Hangover" and Clarke's first album, 1995's "Pawnshop Guitars," are essentially about: The rock 'n' roll lifestyle, where the people you see every day, the people you work with every day, become your family. And where you become the life you lead.
"Every song reflects what I was thinking about or going through the past few years," Clarke said. "It's been strange; I've been on the road for five years straight. So, my world revolves around hotels and television, and there are a lot of songs about drinking and just getting through the day."
Gallucci is a free-lance writer in Cleveland.

Gilby Clarke headlines an 8:30 p.m. concert tomorrow at the Agora Ballroom, 5000 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. Beat Angels, Floodgate and Clubber Lange open. Tickets, $10, are available at the box office, at Ticketmaster outlets and by phone at (216) 241-5555 and (330) 945-9400.

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