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1998.03.20 - Expressen Fredag (Sweden) - Izzy's New Life

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1998.03.20 - Expressen Fredag (Sweden) - Izzy's New Life Empty 1998.03.20 - Expressen Fredag (Sweden) - Izzy's New Life

Post by Blackstar on Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:58 pm


The guitarist Izzy Stradlin jumped off Guns N' Roses when the group were at the top. He did a solo record, but then he disappeared without a trace. Now, five years later the life-enjoyer steps out in "Fredag" and talks about his experiences in Sweden.

Who would have thought that the childhood friends Izzy Stradlin and Axl Rose would become the most mythical rock figures of the 90's. They went separate ways in the autumn of 1991 and two years later had they both disappeared.

What happened?

"I was so terribly tired of the whole business so I took a time off. I was tired of my manager and I had a Guns N' Roses deal hanging over me. When I left the group my lawyers negotiated a deal which said that I was to be given a certain percent on everything the group earned until November 1997."

Izzy Stradlin welcomes me in a hotel suite at the beach in Santa Monica.

It's custom that rockstars live right in the middle of Hollywood, but although he has sold over 50 million records the last decade Izzy's as far from a traditional rockstar you can come.

He makes a handful of interviews for his bluesy album "117", he's not thinking of touring and doesn't give a shit how the record sells.

"The music has no attraction, it feels like a job," he admits.

So let's not talk about the unimportant part and talk about funnier things.

When the last solo-tour was finished in the spring of 1993, Izzy lived a vagabond life and travelled between Spain, Bahamas, USA, England, Denmark and Sweden. He was restless and wanted to experience new cultures.

"One day Rolling Stones played in Indiana and I was backstage with Keith Richards. I told Keith that I was homeless. He thought it was funny and laughed: ;Ah, a man without a home'."

Izzy didn't think it was that funny, but realised it was time to find a place to live in. Together with his Swedish wife Annika, he moved into an old house in his childhood town Lafayette out in the country.

"My adolescence was just like Beavis & Butthead," he smiles. "In the town, a t-shirt with the text 'Lafayette - the all American city' is being sold. A friend usually says that it ought to say 'Lafayette - the all American city, bring your own fun'. There's absolutely nothing to do there."

If you don't live, like Izzy, for two things, motorcycles and American cars. He has replaced the liquor and the drugs with a new addiction.

"As soon as I became sober I bought a Harley and I have been addicted ever since. I don't drive for escaping something, but because it's fun. I love the movement and the freedom."

When Annika's mother had her birthday in August last year, Izzy took his father on a motorcycle ride that started in Stockholm, continued to the west coast (*i.e. the west coast of Sweden of course*) and on to Norway and back to our capital.

"Me and dad rode bike for ten days. It was 25 degrees (*25 degrees Celsius*) warm and no rain and dad said, 'This land is wonderful!' Now he wants to move there. I would like to spend every summer in Sweden but you have those stupid quarantine rules for dogs, they could as well stay at a dog-boarding-house. But my wife loves the dogs. Besides, I surely like the dogs," says Izzy, suddenly aware that his wife is going to read this article.

A moment earlier he could hardly remember what year they married (1991), and nonetheless the right date. And those things are as familiar important for women. But Annika have to excuse if the dust and exhausts has affected her husbands memory.

"I'm crazy about driving fast, shouts Izzy. Next year I'm going to start driving amateur rally and hopefully follow the Paris-Dakhar in place."

The rock world feels undeniably far away for Izzy Stradlin.



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