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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.



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Post by Soulmonster Wed 5 Aug 2020 - 17:43


In the first half of 1994, The Rolling Stones would finish their upcoming album The Voodoo Lounge in Los Angeles, and Slash would hang out with Keith Richards [The Chicago Tribute, February 3, 1995].

I went to dinner with [Richards], and we hung out for a couple of weeks. I can tell you that he’s quite a character.
Popular 1, February 1995; translated from Spanish

Then, when The Stones toured the album and came to The Rose Bowl in Pasadena in late October, Slash and Renee would have seats for the show:

We were saving a couple of seats for our friends who went to the bathroom, and these other people tried to take them. I said, ‘These seats are taken,’ they start arguing, and we said, ‘[Expletive] you’ and left. The next day, Keith calls, all ticked off. Turns out the people we argued with are his in-laws.

I can’t count all the magazines I’ve read, and how, whether true or not, that’s how we get to know about our rock star heroes. That’s all I ever expected as a kid. And now suddenly it’s gotten to the point where I’m getting yelled at by Keith Richards. One way or another, that’s sorta cool.

Late in the year, Slash would say state "as much as Keith hates me right now for fucking telling his in-laws off" [Metal Hammer, November 1995], but this could have been said jokingly.

Slash would mention the 2000:

[Being told he is like Keith Richard's apprentice]: Don’t ever let him hear that. He’ll f- with me. I’ve been on his bad side, I know. […] Um, I pissed off his f- wife’s parents. I didn’t know who they were. But he’s totally cool as long as he gets to be Keith and I’m just the younger kid. It's a seniority thing.

Slash would allude to the "seniority thing" in another interview from 2000 where Slash listed Richards on his "villain" list:

I think this one is self-explanatory. He once pulled a knife on me in a hotel room. I don’t know for what reason, I guess just to let me know who’s boss. But it wasn’t a big knife, just one of those little Chinese jobs. He’s like the classic villain.

Talking about Richards:

What I admire about Keith really has nothing to do with image. To this day, Keith continues to have a backbone: He's still in the same fucking band he's always been in. I've hung out with him only a few times. Keith emphasizes the motto that I try to live by, but as an older, more experienced guitarist - which is to say, he's been through it all but continues to maintain his focus. No matter what happens, he's always Keith and you couldn't pry it from him with a crowbar. Keith doesn't bend, and that applies to me, too. […] I make no comparisons, but that's what I respect about Keith. I don't think he likes me, though. Keith thinks I'm very "L.A." I think he doesn't give me my due, because I'm so much younger than he is. Once I get a few more years under my belt without having succumbed to the whole fucking rock & roll cliché, I think he'll respect me.

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Post by Soulmonster Wed 5 Aug 2020 - 17:43


That’s the sound of the band breaking up right there (laughs).


In October 1994 it would reported that the band had recorded a cover of Rolling Stones' 'Sympathy for the Devil' [Los Angeles Times, October 27, 1994; MTV, October 1994] intended for release on January 2, 1995 [Raw Magazine, November 1994]. These recordings likely took place between 22. and 25. October based off on unleaked discs from the recordings.

The song would be featured on the soundtrack for the movie 'Interview with a Vampire' [Raw Magazine, November 1994], replacing the Gene Loves Jezebel's song 'Who Wants To Go To Heaven', which had been intended to be included at first [The Courier Journal, October 15, 1999].

Sympathy for the Devil
December 1994

In an interview in February 1995, Slash would say that they were in the studio "doing" 'Sympathy for the Devil' on Halloween 1994, in other words on October 31, 1994 [The Howard Stern Show, February 1, 1995].

Although the song would not be released until December 1994, radio stations would already be playing advance copies and Geffen would claim to not know who actually played on the song, except that it was "Guns N' Roses" [Detroit Free Press, November 25, 1994].

Being asked if they would make a video for the single:

No, there is no video. We didn't shoot a video. We were the last thing in production of the movie. We were the last considera­tion and they really had to rush it out. The timing wasn't right to get a video done. As long as we got the song done, you know?


Slash would say he had thought it was a good idea to just to get the band together again:

It was an offer that I thought it was a great plot to get Guns more or less together and just start working as a unit. But I think we pulled it off really well, compared to a lot of other bands that would have been offered to do it, that I don’t think could have gotten to the vibe as well.

In an early interview Slash had listed "Interview wit a Vampire" as his favorite book [Metal Edge, January 1989], so naturally it was important to him that the film came out right. When hearing who would play in the movie, Slash was critical:

The movie is about a subject matter I’m very romantic about. It was like this gothic brat pack thing. I like Brad Pitt, but I like him better as a hick. […] ['Sympathy' was] a song that didn’t need to be copied.

Tom Cruise? As Lestat? I don’t think so. I think it’s going to be pretty lousy. But I went to go see the screening anyway, as a favor, and the Stones version was in there at the time and I thought it was fine, because the movie bored me to tears. Axl, of course - always being my nemesis, right? – went and saw it, and loved it. So he goes, “Let’s do the song.” I thought it would be a great vehicle to get everybody’s creative juices flowing and sort of start getting geared towards the next Guns record.
The O-Zone, February 1995

Slash would also say that Axl wanted to do it, and that Slash saw it as an opportunity to "get the band into one room and get die wheels rolling for what would be pre-production for the next Guns album" [Detroit Free Press, December 22, 1994]. But things didn't plan out that way. According to Slash, Axl didn't show up resulting in Slash, Matt and Duff having to figure out their parts on their own [Detroit Free Press, December 22, 1994].

In late 1994 and early 1995, Slash would talk more about how it went down:

A few months ago. Got a phone call from [Geffen A&R man) Tom Zutaut who said, "I want you to do me a favor. David Geffen's doing this movie and they really want you to do 'Sympathy for the Devil' in it." Originally they had the Stones' version in it. I asked who's in it, and he said Tom Cruise.' I know the story backwards and forwards and I said, ''Tom Cruise as Lestat?" They told me the whole cast and I thought, "the new brat pack" So I went to a screening for it, and I'm such a horror fan that it didn't do it for me. It was well made and Tom tried his best, you gotta give him credit for that. Everyone has to take their chances so I'm not gonna knock it but I didn't like the movie that much. I fell asleep at one point. I left before the lights went on so I wouldn't have to answer questions. Axl went to see it the next day and he liked it, which is ironic. So typical. He didn't know I hated it. He saw stuff in it that I didn't and vice versa. He wanted to do the song so I said we'd do it. I wanted to do the movie because it would get the band together in one room and maybe start getting things rolling. It didn't work. Matt, Duff and I got together In the studio and did the music—we're the brick-layers, you know—and Axl came in later and did the vocals. Matt, Duff, and I rocked, that part of it was great, but it didn't do what I hoped. The single isn't that huge. The fact that it's related to a Tom Cruise movie and it's a cover, it was a sacrifice made to try and do something positive but ended up being like, whatever.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

There's a funny story to 'Sympathy...'. When the movie came out (in the US) a couple of months ago, Geffen called and said, 'Could you do us a favour?'. That movie coming out was a big issue for me, because the books (The Vampire Trilogy by Anne Rice) were great. They have a real kind of passion in there — a sort of dark romanticism — and I'm a real heavy-duty, old-time vampire horror movie freak. And it was like Tom Cruise AND Brad Pitt. No f**king way! So I got this call saying would we do 'Sympathy For The Devil' for the movie.

I thought, 'Well okay, maybe it will be a vehicle to get the band back together and get the wheels in motion for some pre-production stuff. So I went to the screening in one of those stiff theatres full of showbiz f**king suits, and I'm half asleep! I'm not having a good time, and I couldn't just get up and leave, so I was trying to be cool.

I started smoking cigarettes, which is not something you're meant to do in an LA cinema... it's like murder! So I got up and left before the lights went out. I have to say Tom Cruise did the best he could, but the film's laughable to me. The Stones' version of the song was playing in the screening in the same place ours was meant to be.

Anyway, I got up and went home. I called Doug [Goldstein] and said, 'Leave it: the Stones version's fine! There's no need to do a song that doesn't need to be redone!'.

Then Axl went to see the film the next day, and it's inevitable that he likes it and comes out of the movie completely at odds with me! It just goes with the territory — I love this singer/lead guitarist relationship in bands... it's just f**king stupid!

So Axl went and saw it and said he loved it. He was ecstatic. 'Let's do the song!' he says. So I said, 'Okay'. We show up at the studio... who shows up? Matt, Duff and I. That was it.

While we were doing it, we literally had to write down how many bars each section was, because without vocals you don't know where the next change is going to come. But we got it done and the guitar solos on and everything […].

We were supposed – I figured we would all show up, and Duff and Matt and I showed up. So we were sort of like to brick layers, we got the music down, then Axl showed up a couple of days later with his entourage.

[Recording 'Sympathy'] didn't do what I was hoping it would do – let's just leave it at that. When it came down to it, there was only three of us there together and then Axl did his part on his own.

Tom Zutaut called up and asked for a favor, and he said, “Would you do Sympathy For The Devil for David Geffen’s movie?” I talked to Axl about it and Axl said, “No, I don’t wanna do it.” And I said, “I’m gonna see the movie” - you know, see a screening. I saw the screening and I was bored to tears; one of the worst vampire movies I’ve ever seen, actually, and I can say that without feeling bad about it, because I love vampires and horror movies, and all that. So I went home and I said, “Nah, the Stones version” – it was already in the movie – “is fine. Just leave it.” And then Axl went to see it and loved it. So it was like, “Okay, no problem.” He said, “Let’s do the song” and so I said, “Fine.” I thought this could be a good vehicle to get Guns N’ Roses in one room and get the wheels turning for a new record. The only thing is, Matt and Duff and me were the only ones that showed up, and Axl took a few days.

What happened was that the people at Geffen called me at home and asked me to do the song as a favour. So I went to see a screening of the movie, and I liked Brad Pitt’s performance, but Tom Cruise as Lestat... there was nothing gothic about that. I’m a fan of vampires and I love monsters, as you can see (Slash points at the dinosaurs that are part of his living room’s decor). I didn’t like the movie, but the idea of ​​putting the Stones’ version at the end seemed fine to me. The next day Axl went and saw it, and he loved it. Then I said, ‘Okay, if this can get Guns in a room together, then it's worth doing it.’ Duff, Matt and I went to the studio, but Axl didn’t show up. We did our thing and he came days later to record his parts alone. So I didn’t feel like the band had gotten together. It was just another cover for another movie. I didn’t get what I hoped for. But, anyway, the song came out good. I listened to it on the radio today and I think it sounds good. […] The actors who played villain roles are very good, like the little girl, but something is missing... I’ve read the book three times, I've grown up with this kind of thing, and when I found out they were going to make the film I thought, ‘You’d better be careful with what you’re doing.'
Popular 1, February 1995; translated from Spanish

We did "Sympathy For The Devil" because Axl liked the movie, but it didn't have much to do with a real band recording session. Axl did the vocals separately and put Paul Huge's solos on top of mine.

Well, it’s a Geffen release for one. We got a phone call from David Geffen asking if we'd be interested in doing it. And I was sort of, ehh, you know. I went and saw a screening of it just to make the effort, just to see what was going on. The scene where the song is featured, it had the Stones’ ver­sion there and as far as I was concerned, the coolest scene was the closing scene - and I thought, well, the Stones' version sounds fine. But, they really wanted us to do it, so basically, me, Matt and Duff just went in and got the basics down. Axl went in later and did the vocals. That was it. But, it's nice because it’s totally featured as opposed to being on a - you know in movies, instead being on a stereo in the background of a party with people talking over it or off a boom box or something like that - it goes all the way up to the credits. You don't hear any dialogue or anything like that. It should sound good. I haven't seen the movie with our version in it. My wife's going to go check it out at the screening - I'm not going to go. I can't be bothered to go. You know, "The Premier." Waving to the people and stuff. Tom Cruise there — no. But, she's going to go and I just said, well tell me how it sounds.

It didn't work. We didn't all show up at the same time in the studio -- put it that way. And that was pretty indicative of what I didn't want to happen.

Well, what happened was when I went to see the movie, it was a screening. A friend had asked us to do it for a favour so we went along. I was like, Tom Cruise is the star? I don't think so. But I went along. I was bored to tears. And I'm really passionate about horror movies and Dracula. Anyway, finally, finally the end of the movie came and the Stones' version of 'Sympathy' was on it and it was fine. So I said, leave it. Then Axl went, loved the movie; I don't know why. Well I do. If I don't like it he'll like it, if I don't he will. So Axl wanted to do that song. I went along with it because I thought his enthusiasm might get the Guns N' Roses wheels in motion again.

That was the last track we recorded together. Duff, Slash and myself cut that the day before and Axl tracked separate. I liked our version but felt that song had already been recorded perfectly by the Stones.


And when Axl came in to lay down his vocals, he brought Paul Huge with him who laid down his own guitar track on the song, to compliment Slash's. Paul had rehearsed and worked on new music with Slash previously at Slash's home studio [see earlier chapter], and Slash had developed a dislike for the guy:

Then Axl went on to go do the vocals, and he brought another guitar player with him. It was a guy that’s from Indiana, who I can’t stand; and he sort of added a little rhythm guitar there. They also put little answers on my guitar solo, my first one – there’s two solos in the song. The first one, if you listen to it, you’ll hear my guitar, and then there’s little teeny little thing in the background; so that fucked me off. As a result, we ended up doing another cover song, of a song that didn’t need to be covered, for a lame movie and it didn’t do anything for the band. So it was an effort made, but an effort that was wasted, too.
The O-Zone, February 1995

We went in and did the music, then Axl came in to do the vocals… but he also brought this other guitar player in. That really pissed me off. And this was a guy that I can't stand. As far as I was concerned it just ended up as a cover of a song that didn't need to be covered.

Slash would discover that Axl had invited Paul Huge in to lay down guitar tracks when 'Sympathy' was being mixed, on October 31, 1994. This caused a severe rift between Slash and Axl [see later chapter].

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Post by Soulmonster Wed 5 Aug 2020 - 17:44


Sympathy For The Devil single, October 1994.

Greatest Hits, track no. 14 on original release and track no. 15 on 2020 reissue, March 2004.

Written by:
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones).

Vocals: Axl Rose
Lead guitar: Slash
Rhythm guitar: Paul Huge
Bass: Duff McKagan
Drums: Matt Sorum.

The last official release before Slash, Duff and Matt left the band.

Live performances:
'Sympathy For The Devil' has never been played live.

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul and faith

And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

I stuck around St. Petersberg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the Czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain

I rode a tank
Held a general's rank
When the Blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
What's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the Gods they made

I shouted out
"Who killed the Kennedys?"
When after all
It was you and me

Let me please introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadors
Who get killed before they reached Bombay

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
'Cause I'm in need of some restraint

So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I'll lay your soul to waste, um yeah

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, um yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, um baby, get down

Woo, who
Oh yeah, get on down
Oh yeah
Oh yeah!

Tell me baby, what's my name
Tell me honey, baby guess my name
Tell me baby, what's my name
I tell you one time, you're to blame

Ooo, who
Ooo, who
Ooo, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Oh, yeah

What's my name
Tell me, baby, what's my name
Tell me, sweetie, what's my name

Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Oh, yeah


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Post by Soulmonster Wed 5 Aug 2020 - 17:44


In November 1994 Axl would be reported to intend to revive the label Uzi Suicide which Guns N' Roses had used to launch their first EP back in 1986 [Kerrang! November 4, 1994; RAW Magazine, November 1994]. With distribution lined up via Geffen, Axl organized a showcase gig for Geffen executives on October featuring four of the bands he was interested in: Soul, Davy's Farm, Salt Of The Earth and The Assassins [RAW Magazine, November 1994].

The Assassins featured Axl's brother Stuart Bailey on guitar. Bailey was previously best-known as a vocalist with Dr. Whiskey. The Assassins' music, which Bailey has a hand in writing, is in the currently hot Southern Rock vein being pursued by the likes of Pride & Glory and Blind Melon [RAW Magazine, November 1994].

Uzi Suicide Record Company

Uzi Suicide obtained the rights to Hanoi Rocks' back catalogue in 1990 [Kerrang! November 5, 1994] and re-released it all in the US in 1993 [RAW Magazine, November 1994].

But I'm glad that Guns paid tribute to Hanoi by re-releasing our records and paid some respect and didn't hide like Poison or some weaklings like that who didn't have enough of their own thing so they acted like us. "Hanoi who?? What?? Never heard of them." That's bullshit. GnR had enough of their own thing and were secure enough to acknowledge Hanoi and pay tribute to us.

[Axl] actually said nobody would know about Guns 'N' Roses, Motley Crue or any of that stuff [if it weren't for Hanoi Rocks]. I think Guns N Roses have a strong thing and they always did. That's why they were not afraid to mention Hanoi as one of their influences. But certain other bands, for sure, would have paled in comparison had we been luckier. I don't know, it's hard to say. Who knows? It's possible. I think Guns 'N' Roses and Hanoi would have been good together. I think Hanoi Rocks is more like a rock 'n' roll band, sound wise, and Guns 'N' Roses were much heavier. They're more like a Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith type of heavy. We're more like the Stones, but punky. They had their sound which I think was pretty heavy so they're different types of bands, really. I think there would have been plenty of room for both. There can never be too many good rock bands in this world!
Metal Sludge, March 2, 2004

Sure, we got some kind of an advance, but mainly it was great to have those records available in the States. I'll always be grateful to the Guns for releasing them. However, Hanoi not functioning at the time didn't help the sales... then again, Hanoi's greatness has never really reflected in the record sales so far...
Metal Sludge, March 2, 2004

In January 1995, Axl would be said to devote his time looking for new bands to sign to Uzi Suicide while Slash was occupied with Snakepit [Kerrang! January 14, 1995].

In July 2000 Slash would mention the label:

Uzi Suicide is a dead issue. It no longer exists. It never was a real record label.

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Post by Soulmonster Wed 5 Aug 2020 - 17:44


Despite Slash explicitly stating Gilby was out of the band in June 1994, no official statement was released by Geffen, Gilby would not confirm he was out, and media would continue to speculate that he might still be in the band.

In October and November, with Gilby being on tour, the rumours were again spreading [Orange County Register, November 25, 1994]. Again, Gilby would still not explicitly state he was out of the band, but indicate that if the band wanted him again he would be there:

I mean, I have no idea what’s going [with my position in GN'R] on right now. I really don’t. […]  I haven’t spoken to some of the guys in a long time.

The most important thing is that Guns N' Roses won't ever, ever go away. 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. It could be a year, and I just don't think it's very productive to sit around and wait.

Gilby would also be asked "whether the real personalities of Slash and Rose are as difficult as their public personae":

I always just tell people that some of the guys are OK. In fact, some of them are my best friends in the world.

And when asked if he would "go so far as to leave arguably the biggest group in rock today to concentrate on a smaller but more rewarding solo career":

I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'm very serious about it. I've been touring since July, and we're booked through springtime, with a chance of being booked through next summer. I've already spoken to everybody in GNR and said, 'Look, I'm doing this until it's done, and if you need to make a record in between, you make a record without me'.

And in late November it would be reported that Gilby was no longer a members of GN'R when he "finally decided this fall that there wasn't a place for him in the band" [Arizona Daily Star, November 25, 1994].

The realization that he was really, undeniably, out of the band probably came with the song 'Sympathy for the Devil' which was recorded in October 1994, recording sessions for which Gilby had not been invited. In fact, on October 8 Gilby would be asked when the band last rehearsed together and claim it had been a year ago [MTV Headbanger's Ball, October 8, 1994], indicating he wasn't aware of the 'Sympathy' recording having taken place.

We’re still just on a break we were taking a year ago. Nobody is ready to make another record yet. […] With GNR, it’s never like we have band meetings. Someone will just call you some day. There’s no schedule. Me, I stay in close contact with Slash and Matt.

But Gilby was wrong. Unknown to him the band had come together to record a cover of 'Sympathy for the Devil' while Gilby was touring to support his solo record.

Although the song would not be released until December 1994, radio stations would already be playing advance copies and Geffen would refuse to answer who played on the song [Detroit Free Press, November 25, 1994].

When Guns N’ Roses did that project for the ‘Interview with the Vampire’ soundtrack, I was no part of it. I didn’t even know about it. I was out doing my tour and didn’t know anything about it.

I wasn't that involved with the "Sympathy for the Devil" recording - they did that while I was on the road touring for my solo record.

I knew that that was the ending because nobody told me about it. Officially I was in the band at that time, and they did that song without me. That was one of the last straws for me, because nobody had said anything to me and they recorded a song by one of my favorite bands. It was pretty clear I'm a big Stones fan, and they recorded the song without me. So I knew that was it.

My official end was actually at the last show of the last tour. Axl was jokingly saying "Bye" to everybody, but he was really saying "Bye" to everybody. He even came up to me and said, "Hey, enjoy your last show." At that point I thought he was being funny, but he wasn't being funny. He knows what he's doing. He's a smart guy. So I knew it was the end at the last show.

And in January 1995, Gilby would also finally admit he was out, but spin it like was him who had quit the band [AP/Daily World, January 16, 1995; Argus Leader, January 19, 1995]. Gilby would also state musical differences with Axl as the reason for leaving the band:

Axl Rose has a different vision for the next Guns ’N Roses album and it’s not the kind of music I’m comfortable playing.

How I feel about it is, Slash and Matt are two of the best friends I’ve had in the world. It was a fun ride. I’m glad I did it, and I really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t replace it for the world. But some of the ideas that Axl has about the band, I don’t feel comfortable with it. It’s to the point, I really don’t care what happens. I’m doing what I want to do and having fun.

What really prompted the decision is that the band has been in limbo for the last year. I just don’t really fit in anymore. […] I’ve spoken to the band many times about how they want the next record to sound. The sound Axl wants is not compatible with the way I play guitar. That’s why I’ve always done my solo work and the record they wanted to do.

It was a reasonably amicable split. We just had different ideas about what we wanted to do with the music.

In early 1995, though, Slash would suggest nothing was definitive in regard to Gilby's involvement with GN'R:

[Gilby's] with me, but as far as Guns is concerned, nothing is definite regarding his involvement. I'm not sure what could happen with that...

And express confusion as to why Axl didn't want to work with Gilby:

Personally, I would have really preferred to continue with Gilby but, as everybody knows, there was a big conflict between him and Axl. I think it's a shame, but Axl has got a mind of his own. He has always refused to write with Gilby. I don't know why he has such a big problem with Gilby.

Later, in 1997, Gilby would mention that he was supposed to discuss his future in Guns N' Roses with Axl after returning from his tour, but that this didn't happen:

We never talked when it was all done. It was clear I wasn’t part of the band any more.

Looking back at Gilby leaving:

In the maelstrom that ensued after GN’R’s Use Your Illusion tour, my good friend Gilby was somehow chucked from the lineup. I say “somehow” because, in all honesty, I don’t remember precise details about the second half of 1993 and the beginning of 1994.

Well, really simple, Axle one day just wanted to change things up. I honestly didn’t know what he wanted to do. He never talked to me directly, I always dealt with SLASH. There was one week I was in the band and then the next week he was just pissed off with something. And finally one day, the cheques stopped coming. That’s how it all ended.

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Post by Soulmonster Sun 31 Jul 2022 - 13:20


It came at the strangest time. I was at that point where I was really happy. I had my big band, I really liked the band. I was making my own songs and everything was perfect. Then boom! ‘No! We’re changing directions.’ I knew it was going to end. I always had that feeling that something bad was going to happen in that band. I was just bummed.

It was great. The band was at the top. All I did was enjoy it.

I have a little luxury. I got to be in a big band. I got to do things like play stadiums. I got to be on MTV and all that stuff. So for me it’s a luxury, I can at least say that I did it.

What I did with the band was fun. […] I can't get away from it [being an ex-Guns N' Roses member]. As far as I'm concerned, until you do something that outshines what Guns N' Roses did, that's the way it is. Everybody wants to take a piece of that and to be a part of it in some way. But I don't have a problem with it. What are you gonna do? Life could be worse. […] I gig all year 'round; there's always some place that wants a little rock. I'm pretty content now. I produced both of the Beat Angels records, and Windigo for Pavement. I have a family, and I make a really good living playing guitar and putting out records.

It was quite a trip. Since (I was) a kid, I always said I wanted to play guitar in a rock 'n' roll band. Every time (Guns N' Roses) walked onstage, I appreciated it. It was great- it was everything I ever wanted. […]

It's really odd. Sometimes I look back and go, God, if I didn't get that GNR gig, where would (I) be right now?' It definitely was a boost for my life.

I am lucky because Guns & Roses was a successful band so I have a little cushion. I might have a different opinion if I was starving. […] I loved being in the band. It was a great rock band. The lifestyle was wonderful. We had a great time. It was not that hard to survive come to think of it. When it was over it was kind of shocking. When you are thrust into that world you adapt fast but when you leave it adapting is very, very hard. […] It is just about keeping a straight head through all of the phoniness. I think unfortunately people like Slash and Axl have not heard the truth in a long time because people want to be their friends so they are nice to them. They don’t really tell them the way it is. Then when they have to go out and face the world it is a shock to them because now they are hearing reality and they have not heard that for a long time. […] I never believed it. Even through all of that I knew that I had my Les Paul and my amp and that I was playing on a really nice stage but I knew it was not for real. I never believed it.

When I got the gig, all I wanted to do was play guitar in a loud rock band. At the time, that was probably the best rock band around. I had a great time.

It doesn't really bother me [to be forever remembered as a GN'R replacement]. I had a fucking awesome time with GNR. Even though it was a short tenure, a lot of cool shit was going on back then. We were on tour for like 2 1/2 years. Unfortunately, there was a lot of bullshit that came along with being in the band. That I could definitely have done without.

I can’t really tell you anything new, it’s been 25 years and the stories have all been told . When I joined the band it was a popular band. It was easier for me coming in as the band was successful. What was hard was, fitting in the group that had already existed personality wise, musically and things like that. I was a good match, my guitar playing fit, my image fit and my personality fit. These are the key things that don’t usually fit always.

They enjoyed having new blood around too. The easy stuff was, we were playing sold out Concerts and records were selling. The hard part is when records aren’t selling, and Concerts aren’t selling.

My fondest memories are from the live shows with Guns N’ Roses. I really felt like we were a band of brothers going to war every night to play those wonderful songs, the way they were meant to be heard through blood, sweat, and beers

Regarding taking advantage of having been a part of Guns N' Roses:

Spitfire still labeled the album [=Swag, 2002] “Former Guns & Roses Guitarist.” They still do things like that.

And talking about Slash:

I love his tenacity. He loves playing guitar and he finds a way to do it. He doesn’t care about trends or fashion. He knows who he is and what his talents are. I have jammed with Slash and his band many times. It feels very familiar and natural.

Slash nowadays is very different from the Guns N Roses slash. Back then everyone was a lot younger abusing alcohol and drugs. It was a different time then. Now, everybody is grown as a person, now we all have families. Deep down all of us still enjoyed playing music. Slash is a great guy. If you met him at an airport he would say ‘Hey! What’s going on?’ But obviously he’s more famous now than he was with Guns N Roses. He can’t just walk into a bar or a restaurant and hangout, that’s hard for him, he’s too famous now. But still he’s the same person.


In April 1997 it would be reported that Slash and Gilby had reconciled their differenced after Gilby sued Guns N' Roses [MTV, April 18, 1997]. Later in the year Slash was wrongly advertised to play on at least three shows at Gilby's tour (in promotion of The Hangover) [MTV News, September 29, 1997].

I see and talk to Slash and Matt all the time, I never talk to Axel [sic].

I talk to Matt every couple weeks, I see Slash, but never really hang out with him, and obviously, I haven't spoken to Axl in like four years. Occasionally I run into Duff - I saw him at a Prince concert, and we hung out for the rest of the night.

[Being asked if he is still friends with Slash]: A little bit. I don’t really talk to him much anymore. I see him and say “Hey what’s going on?” but I really don’t sit down and have a drink with him anymore. The last couple of years we have really, really lost touch.

I was close to Slash, but we drifted apart after Slash’s Snakepit.


A lot of people make him out to be a reclusive drug weirdo, and he’s not. He’s a pretty talented guy. [Chinese Democracy] will be a good record.

People don't believe me, but I really don't have a bad relationship with Axl. We get along great when we see each other once every six years!

To say something nice about Axl, is to say that the guy is true to himself. However you feel about his decisions, he is true to himself. He has been consistent. [...] A lot of us former members are limited to some extent from doing the (GNR) stuff live, because there’s only one Axl. Nobody can sing like he can. So we’ve all got to do the songs that are in what we call ‘normal ranges.’


My part of the band was with Matt, Slash and Duff, but you can never say never.

[After Axl had jammed with Gilby in June 2000]: Whatever reasons he came down I really don't know. It is what it is. I don't have any interest in putting the band back together, and I don't think he does either.

If anything like that ever happened, I'm sure it would be with Izzy. [...] If I ever got the urge to play in a loud version of the Rolling Stones again, maybe, but I don't see that happening.

(laughs) Hey I'd love it dude, as long as all the drama is pushed to the side. I'm sure most Guns fans are gonna want Stradlin (laughing), but I would do it if asked.

I haven't closed the door on it, because no matter what happens number 1, I love the music of Guns N' Roses, number 2, I still think it's a powerfull band. But I just think, what Axl is doing right now, he needs to do. Wether he wants to continue with it, it's really up to him. I have no problem playing with any of the guys again. So, I'm just gonna leave it at that. You know, it's not about money for me, I hope it's not about money for the rest of the guys too. It's the same thing why we did the MC5, you know, being able to bring that music to a generation that never got to see it the right way. And that's why also I've been playing more GN'R songs in my set. I used to never do it. And I just think it's important for them to see it being represented the right way.

And discussing what the lineup of a reunited Guns N' Roses would look like:

I think if it did ever happen, obviously we're all just talking crap (laughs), everybody would wanna see the original lineup with Izzy and Steven, but the fact is that Steven couldn't do it anymore, he's just not capable of doing that set, playing the songs that Matt has recorded as well as the ones he has, so probably Matt would be the drummer. Obviously I'm sure they would ask Izzy before me, if Izzy wanted to do it he would do it, if he didn't want to do it, then they would probably ask me, I would hope (laughs). It would have to come down to what the circumstances were. Like I said, I still love the music, I still love performing. We would just have to see. It's a fun question to talk about, but we really don't have that answer.

In 2011 he would say he would only take part in a reunion if Slash was there, too:

I've always said if it's really a real reunion where Slash is involved, then I would do it, but I probably feel the same that you guys feel. I think most people wanna see the original five [members] with Izzy and Steven and I agree; that was a great band. But if they want other people myself and Matt, then I would do it. But I would only do it if Slash was involved.

After Slash and Duff rejoined Guns N' Roses and Richard was chosen as second guitarist:

I didn’t feel I needed to make a phone call about it; I didn’t feel I needed to plead my case. If it happens it happens, and if it doesn’t it doesn’t. It didn’t, and when it didn’t happen, I just went, ‘Uh, well, there it goes.’ I’m being honest about it. I have such good and fond memories from those years that I don’t need to relive it again.

In late 2018, Gilby would discuss not talking to Axl when his contract wasn't extended and indicate that people "in-between" had their own agendas:

If there was a negativity about the ending of it, it was just that thing of no real communication. I never heard directly from him. If there was something wrong or something him and I didn’t see eye to eye on, I never got that directly from him. The people in-between had their own agendas so I don’t think they were really representing him correctly and they may not have been representing me correctly. [...] There were so many people that were trying to pull the power of that band apart so that was hard. I mean Axl and I were on the same freaking page. If you see any footage from back in those days, anytime him and I were onstage together we were laughing. He’d sing a line and I’d make a joke and it would crack him up. We had a great relationship. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and he grew up in Indiana and we probably grew up within a hundred miles of each other. We grew up with the same radio and we used to laugh about that like we knew all the same Top 40 songs in that period we grew up in.

And talking more about Axl and the legacy of the band:

We had a good relationship but in the ending did we agree? Absolutely not. I didn’t think Guns N’ Roses should have three guitarists in the band. [Laughs] I was pretty stern about it so we didn’t agree but it doesn’t mean I didn’t respect him or care about him and vice versa. He came out to some jams I had over the years and stuff. No, there’s no bad blood. Still to this day, I try to remember the good stuff and not the bad stuff and I always say, “We’re all on the same fuckin’ team.” They care about music, they care about rock and roll and I care about music, I care about rock and roll. I would never ever do anything to tarnish the image of the band. I want that legacy to live on and I want them to make new records. I want it to live.

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Post by Soulmonster Sun 21 Aug 2022 - 8:02


In 1995, Gilby and his wife Daniella, gave birth to their daughter, Francesca (Frankie) [Trojan Daily, April 14, 1999]. Daniella would later found the successful company Frankie B. Jeans:

Daniella has made, in, like, one year, five times more money than I've made in my entire musical career [laughs]. She's the owner and designer. I mean, neither of us graduated high school, and she's running a $15 million company.

In November 2006, the family had just moved into a new house in Sherman Oaks in Los Angeles [Los Angeles Daily News, November 18, 2006].

By 2007, Frankie had her own band:

[...] Frankie actually plays guitar now and she has her own band. Yeah, it's pretty cool. They've actually played a couple gigs and stuff. And it's strange for her because, you know, some of the things that were the wildest were back in the GNR days. It was a very successful band then, and she, you know, wasn't alive then. But she still gets, she's seen me do quite a few shows over the last few years and stuff, and she gets the handle. She knows what her father does, and what her mother does and all that. Our household, you know, we don't like leave our rock n roll boots at the door, you know. We pretty much live it all the time. We're always up late and you know, get up late. We pretty much keep that going even with a small kid in the house.


Actually a bunch of my friends have always been a part of it. Teddy Andreadis who used to play keyboards for Guns N' Roses, and Bruce Kulick have done it. Whenever they talk about it they always have great things to say about it and how it not only gives back to people who aren't professional musicians and the way it gives back to the musicians themselves. They get a sense of accomplishment working with people. I went down to Los Angeles to audition and I had a great time! I thought that the people were really fun and I just really enjoyed the whole process.

Talking about his first job as a counselor:

I actually just did my first one yesterday. It was a really good experience. You are working with people who have followed your career, they are excited to be in the room with you and you get to play some music together. So, yeah, I had a great experience.

And talking about what he looks forward to with the tour:

It is mostly about just talking to people. As a musician, you surround yourself with other musicians, so it is very easy to lose touch. What is really great about this is that you are one-on-one with people and get to hear what they are inspired by. I have never been one of those musicians that follows a trend. It always bothers me when I hear other artists saying "Do this for the fans. Give them what they want." I just don't think that is really an artist. Being an artist is creating something original and you get fans from that. So it is always nice to get a little feedback, some honest feedback. That is another thing that is really great about this.


I think that I definitely have an opinion and a Guns N' Roses opinion. I think that would make an interesting book, so it is something that I am definitely thinking about a lot more lately.

Halloween Jack is really for fun more than anything. We’re certainly not making a living off it. Daniel Schulman (ex-Garbage) and Steve Perkins (Jane’s Addiction) actually put it together. They wanted to play some of the ‘70s glam stuff and they called me. I’d just done the Supernova tour with Steve and Dave Navarro’s band The Panic Channel. So we spent a lot of time together. I brought in Eric Dover (who Gilby played with in Slash’s Snakepit). We were basically looking for a weekly gig, like a residency, just to play more than anything. We’ve always loved that kind of material. We did a little run at The Dragonfly (in Los Angeles). It was going pretty good, but one day The Dragonfly pulled the plug. I think this economy thing has hit everybody at this point. Now we have a couple more gigs. Unfortunately, Perkins is going out with Jane’s for a couple months. So we’ll be using John Dolmayan from System Of A Down, he’s going to sit in. I also like it ‘cause it’s getting out of my comfort zone. I could have went with all the regular guys we do The Starfuckers with, but it was nice to do something different.


Wine is huge in California (where Gilby lives). It’s become extremely popular everywhere from Paso Robles to Palo Alto; it’s all over the place. There’s a part called Temecula, which is the southeast part of California, and they have 30+ wineries out there. But they’re having a real hard time getting some attention. So they’ve done a couple ‘celebrity lines.’ I went down there and I went to all the different wineries and I tried a bunch of different wines. I’m not a big wine drinker, but I actually do know my wine pretty well. So I picked out my blend and I’m actually doing the artwork for it right now. For me, basically it’s like another piece of merchandise. Rather than a t-shirt, it’s wine. But I actually am involved. It’s not one of those things where you just slap your name on it and collect the cheque. My blend is in the barrels right now, so it’ll be ready at the end of August. It’s just something different. We’re going to do cigars and a couple other different things.

Wine is huge in California (where Gilby lives). It’s become extremely popular everywhere from Paso Robles to Palo Alto; it’s all over the place. There’s a part called Temecula, which is the southeast part of California, and they have 30+ wineries out there. But they’re having a real hard time getting some attention. So they’ve done a couple ‘celebrity lines.’ I went down there and I went to all the different wineries and I tried a bunch of different wines. I’m not a big wine drinker, but I actually do know my wine pretty well. So I picked out my blend and I’m actually doing the artwork for it right now. For me, basically it’s like another piece of merchandise. Rather than a t-shirt, it’s wine. But I actually am involved. It’s not one of those things where you just slap your name on it and collect the cheque. My blend is in the barrels right now, so it’ll be ready at the end of August. It’s just something different. We’re going to do cigars and a couple other different things.


I’m doing a syrah, which is kind of like a cabernet-sauvignon – actually I’ve got a little bit of that in there. It’s kind of potent; it’s pretty cool. Syrah is what’s popular right now. Wine is like most things; there are trends. I’d actually never tried it and when I did, I loved it! [...] It’ll probably be anywhere from $35 to $65. We haven’t actually priced it. We’re going to wait a little bit. There’s a big show for the Temecula area at the end of August which I’m a part of; that’s when we’re going to release it. It will be a limited run. It’s not going to be like Mondavi; it won’t be everywhere. The company I’m doing it through is called Wiens. It’ll go out to most liquor stores and they’ll see how it runs; just like a record.


On January 10, 2010, Gilby was involved in a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles [Blabbermouth, January 11, 2010]. Riki Rachtman would quickly tweet about the incident and say that the driver of the car had fled the scene:

Some asshole turned in front of [Gilby when] he was on a bike. His leg's busted up pretty bad. It was a hit-and-run.

Tracii also commented on the accident:

Gilby got nailed on his motorcycle last night. His leg is broken in three places. It was a hit and run. I am gonna try to go see him tonight, he will be OK.

The next day, Gilby would tweet:

yes, some asshole in his pick up truck pulled a left as i was going through an intersection on my bike. JD & I were riding back from Pomona Easyriders show when it happened. not only did this dumb ass driver pull in front of moving traffic, but he split the scene after he hit me. he doesn't know if i'm dead or what... i have 3 broken bones in my left foot & 1 broken bone in my right foot. my new joe king helmut saved my skull, but i won't be walking for awhile. there were some really wonderful people @ the scene that helped out quite a bit & i've heard from everyone i know, sending best wishes & speedy recovery. so to you, we will rock n' roll again !

And Rachtman would try to identify the driver of the car:

You may have heard Gilby Clarke was involved in a motorcycle accident on Sunday. The important thing you should know is it was a hit-and-run.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!! Sunday around 5 p.m. Gilby was riding his bike in Sherman Oaks, California. He was riding south on Woodman and at the intersection of Moorpark some idiot turned left right in front of him. Gilby hit the passenger side of the vehicle. The driver took off.

Here is what we know so far. [Pickup] truck light color tan perhaps silver. There was a male driver and possibly a female passenger could be Hispanic, but not sure. The truck looked fairly new and has damage on the passenger side.

If you have ANY information, send me a direct message on Twitter until I find out the police department.

C'mon, someone knows something. Look for that truck.

Gilby is currently getting ready for surgery to his leg. It's a pretty gnarly break.

Gilby went through two surgeries to correct the injuries [Blabbermouth, January 13, 2010; Blabbermouth, January 15, 2010; Blabbermouth, February 8, 2010].

In June it was reported that Gilby had found out who rammed him:

They did not find him, but a friend found out who it was. No one got a license plate number and there were a number of different descriptions of the truck and not a lot of evidence. But somehow, one of my friends overheard a guy talking about how he hit a motorcycle and said that he took off since he had no insurance, no driver's license. I gave the info to a detective, but he didn't do anything. Since there were no eyewitnesses, there was nothing they could do. The LAPD won't do anything unless you die. It was extremely frustrating.

Talking about coping with the injuries:

The medical bills are expensive and my bike is almost totaled. I may never be normal again. [...] I earn my living as a musician and producer and that is how I pay bills. It knocked me down for six months. I couldn't work till now, and I get around with a cane, so it has been tough. Musicians don't have a regular pay check; we have to go out and get it and with the change of the business, some of the things you can do to make money don't exist anymore. It has been a hard two years for me and for the rest of the country, but with this on top on of it? It was hard.

And doing shows:

When I perform, I go into automatic mode, since I have been playing for so long. There is a certain way you move and operate guitar pedals on the floor and sing and you have to change all that. There are things I can't do. It is a different way of approaching a performance. A challenge is how I look at it; life would be boring without curve balls. You have to get over and have a better story to tell because of it. People have a way, when their back is against the wall, of performing or going down. Someone like me, who has been playing guitar for 30-something years, is not going to back down.

On December 23, 2010, Gilby would post an update on blog about the touring in 2010, suggesting the injuries had healed:

what a great trip this was... it didn't start out great, when i got a call the week before that Dave Langguth (drums) broke his ankle & couldn't make the tour. I called Dennis & he changed some gig's around & was able to do it.

so off to Paraguay we went... now I've played Paraguay before, the fans were great & the production team was 1st rate. now on these tours we always play with rental gear & my band has pretty simple requests when it comes to backline, but in the states they never have what we need & always have an excuse why they can't provide it. so what a surprise that Paraguay had the best gear of the whole tour. brand new Marshalls, classic SVT's & a killer kit.

next up was Argentina for 3 shows & a house party for a radio listener winner. I knew it would be special when i got off the plane & there was a welcoming party of girls. the El Teatro show kicked ass, I met the local Hell's Angel's chapter pres. & my doppelganger. but the 2nd show, we went on @ 2:30am @ Peteco's & that pissed me off.

after the Rosario show we had to drive a couple hours back to Buenos Aires to catch our flight to Brazil. where i met the American ambassador & did a meet n greet with the boys & girls club in Sao Paulo. the show was another packed house & good thing, cuz' last time it was 1/2 filled.

we stayed up all night again to catch our flight to Chile, so we were a lil' beat when we arrived. the promoters took pity on us, since we've been up for 2 days straight & let us cancel the press conference. the show in Santiago was crazy... i hadn't played there since 1994 when i opened for Aerosmith, so i was surprised when the show sold out.

of course we only had a couple hours sleep again to catch our flight to Bolivia... i know this sounds like a broken record, but i didn't book the flights, my agent did & they should know u play @ 1am in S. America, so don't book flights @ 7am ! anyway Bolivia was killer, except i could barely breathe cuz' of the altitude. the mayor gave me a certificate & the key to the city as a token of their appreciation. (that we rocked the house) so i'm sure we'll be back soon.

S. America has the best music fans in the world & are very passionate about good music. can't wait for the next tour!
Gilby's Blog, December 23, 2010

In 2011, Gilby would look back at the accident:

I broke both my legs and had a lot of damage. I still limp a little and I've got hard ware still stuck in my leg.

Being asked if he has a different look on life after the accident:

No, no! I mean, I got right back on my bike. I think… let me think about that! No! I think I'm a little bit more careful, but I was careful before. I didn't do anything, somebody hit me. No, I don't think so!

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Post by Soulmonster Tue 9 Apr 2024 - 15:36



Gilby would finish his tour in promotion of Pawnshop Guitar in December 1994. In 1995 he released an EP, Blooze.


In September 2000, Gilby would answer what he remembered the most from the 90s and point out the transition from being in a huge band to going back to his solo career:

Going from playing stadiums one year to playing empty clubs the next.


In late 1996 it would be reported that Gilby was playing with Steven for a new band tentatively named 'Freaks in the Room' [News Pilot, November 15, 1996]. The lineup included Coma-Tones guitarist Joel Soul and bassist Stefan Adika and allegedly the band sounded "kick-ass" [News Pilot, November 15, 1996]. But in January 1997, Gilby was apparently not part of this band anymore [The Howard Stern Show, January 22, 1997].


Some time after this Gilby would try to release his second solo album, The Hangover, but in an echo of Axl's rejection of the music Slash and Gilby had worked on in early 1994, Virgin balked:

We completely didn't agree on what the record should sound like. I wanted to do what I've always done, and [Virgin] wanted me to sound like Seven Mary Three. I turned in my songs and they said, 'That's not very current music.'

But Gilby wouldn't budge:

It's important to write and record what you’re comfortable with. What I like is very old-fashioned rock and roll. When my first solo record came out in '94, it still was a very '70s thing with lots of loud guitars.

Gilby then signed with the smaller label Paradigm Records to release The Hangover [Lincoln Star Journal, November 16, 1997].

The Hangover

Whether you sell a million records or five records, that's not the point. The point is to make a good record, that you would like to hear. I’ve done that.

In April 1997, Gilby was about to finish an acoustic tour with Ryan Roxie and was about to release the album [MTV, April 18, 1997], and in September it would come out in the US [MTV News, September 29, 1997].

In 1997, one song from Kills for Thrill, his pre-GN'R band, would be released on the compilation "Poptopia" [The Plain Dealer, November 7, 1997].


In 1998, Gilby was working on his third solo album, Rubber [Guitar, September 1998].


To tour this album Gilby drafted in Tracii and ex-Kiss drummer Eric Singer [Daily Trojan, April 14, 1999].

Gilby knew Tracii from before:

Well, in the very beginnings of everything for Hollywood Rose and L.A. Guns, Gilby did one of our first gigs together at a place called Madame Wong's. So the very first day I ever met him he was doing live sound for both bands. And I stayed in touch with him and we'd been friends ever since. I was about 17 and he was 19 or 20 back then. At the time he was actually in a pretty popular L.A. band called Candy, which was a very poppy group, not heavy at all. But he's slowly evolved getting more into rock. Gilby's a really even headed guy. Out of all the guys I know from that time, he's the most sensible one.

And in 1999, Gilby would produce Tracii's and Jizzy Pearl's album "Shrinking Violet" in his home studio [The Quitus, June 16, 2010].

He had this little studio in his house which was half in his bedroom, and the drum and amp room were in his garage so it was really a makeshift kind of rock & roll thing. The whole record took about a month to do. When we got there the songs weren't fully written yet. We went one at a time and finished the songs up, and the chemistry was really good. It was a really fast, inexpensive record to do but it turned out really good. As far as records I've done go, it's probably the most classic rock sounding album.

In 2017, Gilby would talk about being a producer:

Back when I was around Hollywood and I had to have a day job — actually, I had a night job — I was a soundman. I used to do sound around town. I worked at all the local clubs, from the Roxy, the Whisky, Club Lingerie, Madame Wong's. It was just one of those things — you kind of understand it, know? I could just walk up and listen to the band and kind of tweak and stuff, and get a good mix going. When I was in one of my first bands [Candy], there was kind of an executive producer, which was Kim Fowley. He heard that, and he goes, 'You know, Gilby, you really should get into producing — you have a good ear.' I think it started out from the technical side of understanding how to record, and to be a real producer, that's when you start understanding arrangements and starting to make songs sound better than they were when you got there, and then later on, it's all about psychology — how to work with bands and get the best out of them.

Producing, besides the technical side of being able to get the sounds out that you're looking for, really is to inspire people. When I first started out, those were the days where producers were whipping us musicians — they were beating us. They came from that old-school of putting you down and telling you you suck, and you'll never make it. I come from the opposite thing — I believe that you don't have to be the best musician to make a great record. If that was the case, we wouldn't have The New York Dolls or The Sex Pistols. You've got to just mark that time — it's the best you can do at this time. That's the psychology part — you've got to inspire them and get them to do the best they can at this time. They might not be in Steve Vai's category as a guitar player, but what they can do, Steve Vai can't do.

1999/2000 - STARFUCKERS

In 1999 or 2000, Gilby started a new band with Tracii and Slim Jim Phantom, Starfuckers, who would soon be signed to Atlanticc Records:

It started out as a jam band.It was an excuse to show up once a week and play your guitar through an amp as loud as you can. It’s something we’ve been doing for fun—getting signed is icing on the cake.


In 2001, Izzy released the record Rock N Roll Music with his band Col. Parker, which included ex-Stray Cat Slim Jim Phantom and Teddy "Zig Zag" Andreadis. Being asked what happened to this band:

Well I gotta tell you, that was a really unfortunate circumstance, Because I actually REALLY, REALLY, REALLY like the Col. Parker record. Obviously Muddy still plays with my band. I really thought it was a really good record, it was all about the record company, V2 is just not a very good record company. We knew the president of the label, and he put the record out, he loved the record. It just didn't do well. They just didn't know how to market it. When we were out on the road, it was brutal out there. And we really wanted to make another record. We just kinda said it wasn't a good idea to do it on V2. I'm not saying we'll never, ever get to do that. I think that in the future you'll find me working more with Jim and Muddy on my stuff.

The Col. Parker record was really special, because that whole record was written within a month. That's one of those things where you get the right guys in the room. We just started writing a bunch of music, we recorded it and to me, it felt really good.

2002: SWAG

In 2002, Gilby dropped his fourth solo album, Swag.


Realistically, this is the fourth album that I have made on my own. They are not much different from each other. My goal is to make an album that I would want to buy. I just keep writing and writing and when I get 12 songs then we start cutting. To me, what is different about this record is that it is much more rock. The other albums were more versatile as they had some roots, some blues and some pop. This is pretty much a rock record.

Tracy [sic] has been playing guitar in my solo band for two years. The two tunes he plays on [Swag] he has been playing live so I thought it would be natural to have him on the record because I really liked what he brought to it.

The record does not come out until the end of January. We are just going to take it as it goes. Whether I have an album out or not, I go play live. I do what I call “Weekend Warrior” stuff. I will do a Vegas run or a Jersey run. This will just give me an excuse to go out an play. […] I am going to play regardless. It is great to have some new songs to play. It gives people a reason to go out and see Gilby in 2002. […] I will go out in January and do some dates. I don’t know about a full tour but I will do some dates.

Talking about writing lyrics:

I hate to say it but I am pretty simple and I am pretty much about the same stuff. It’s everyday in my life -- what I think about or what I watch on TV. I am usually pretty current. I am just trying to figure out new ways and more colorful ways to say things. That is what “Alien” is about. It is a more comfortable way to talk about the same old shit!

And why he keeps touring:

It is a very simple reason. I still like strapping my Les Paul on, turning an amp on and playing a couple of bar chords. After all this time I still get the same feeling I got when I was 16 years old. I also like people clapping after I do something! My wife says, “You don’t need to tour. You don’t need the money. You just want people to clap for you.” You know I think she is right.


In 2003, Gilby would become a touring musician with the band Heart:

Before I signed on, I asked them, `Which Heart? The '70s Heart or the '80s Heart?' And they go, `We don't really play a lot of '80s stuff.' So I was like, `Okay. I'll do it.'

I still love to play. I just don't like singing. I had a great experience with Heart - I really needed to do a tour. I had been in the studio doing the Col. Parker thing and my solo record for a couple years; I sang and played on both.

Heart was... Let’s say it was an interesting experience (laughs). [...] I had a good time with them. There were some really good things on that tour. When they first contacted me, I was a bit confused, because I like old Heart, 70s Heart. I don’t like 80s Heart with all those classic songs. They assured me that they didn’t play many of those songs. When I went there, I felt right away that I was too rock ‘n’ roll for the whole thing. So I don’t think the chemistry was great. I believe I played well with the band and we had some really good nights, but I just don’t think we fit so well together. Mike Inez is one of my best friends in the world, so that went well. I made some other good friends during that tour; Darrian, who played keyboards, Ben, who played drums. Great guys. The travelling was fantastic, I liked it a lot. They're very family-centered, so my family came along, too. The tour was fun, but we didn’t have the right chemistry.

He would also play in a band called Blues Mafia:

Blues Mafia is basically like a low-budget Rat Pack of rock 'n' roll. It's part comedy and it's part music. We start with a couple of blues standards--you know, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Robert Johnson--but at the end of the night, we play the Ramones. It's really just a couple of guys that have played in some pretty big bands and who are letting their hair down, having a couple of cocktails and just fucking around.

And in 2005 he would tour Europe with MC5:

It’s just a tour. When Wayne [Kramer] called me for the first time, he told me that the reason they were called DKT/MC5 was that it’s a tribute to the original band. But the singers and the guitarists in the band change all the time. Lisa is the only one who has stayed for so long and is a regular. If I was asked to do it again, I would. I had a great time with them. The music is very entertaining, and, being a guitarist, it’s very difficult to find music that fits your style and gives you as much freedom as you need. And in this case I’ve had a lot of freedom to do what I want, so I’ve had a great time. I don’t think I’ll record with them, though. If they make a record, Wayne will do all the guitars. I might play as a guest. We get along very well. Maybe they’ll record in my studio, everybody does, so... (laughs).

Looking back at MC5:

i love playing with the MC5, it's great guitar music.

At some point he also played with Nancy Sinatra:

Amazing! Nancy was something really good for me as a musician. When you play with better musicians than yourself, you learn a lot. It was a challenge for me to play with those musicians and I had an awesome time. Many people ask me why I didn’t join Velvet Revolver or other bands. The answer to that is that I was never asked to join, but even if I were I wouldn’t do it, because I don’t want to play rhythm any more. With MC5 I play lead. I’ve always been a lead guitarist. The reason I played rhythm in GN’R is obvious. But the experience with Nancy was fantastic and I learned so much.


In the summer of 2005, Tracii was supposed to travel to Singapore and Thailand for a "Guns N' Roses Revisited World Tour" together with Steven and his current band mates from Adler's Appetite [, July 31, 2005; Arbiter Online, November 7, 2005]. Tracii would say it was originally planned with Gilby:

It was originally booked as a tour with ex-Guns guitarist Gilby Clarke. I agreed to do it because they called and offered me a basket of money, but it ended up being cancelled.

Presumably, it was cancelled when Guns N' Roses objected to their use of the Guns N' Roses logo... or just because it was a really bad idea:

I heard [Axl's lawyers objected], because of the use of the Guns N’ Roses logo.


In 2006, Gilby would team up with Jason Newstead and Tommy Lee for the reality TV series Rock Star: Supernova [FHM, June 2006]. The concept of the series was for this new supergroup to find their singer [FHM, June 2006].

Reality TV is reality TV. It's part of the future, cause people are tired of watching crappy television shows that were written by the same 5 guys. Reality TV is unpredictable to a point. So, this is more about a band. The 3 of us, myself, Jason and Tommy we only think about the band, we don't care about TV. TV is TV. Let the TV people do their thing. It's a great way to find a singer. If we knocked our heads to find a singer, we wouldn't have anybody. So, it's great to see a lot of people, that we would have never seen before, in perfect circumstances. I wish everybody would have this chance. Believe me, Velvet Revolver wished they had this chance until they found Scott. So, it's great. [...] [Rock Star: Supernova] was Tommy's idea. Tommy run into Mark Burnett, who's the producer, they were in Malibu where they live, and they were just talking about the show and Tommy goes "I got an idea, what if we put a new band together and you found a singer?" and Mark liked it. So, when they started knocking around heads, ok Tommy will play drums, who should be playing guitar, who should be playing bass, there was a list of people, and I was on that list, and I got the gig.

I wanted to be in a new band more than anything. I got the gig first and then came Tommy and Jason - and I was really excited to have those guys on board. I didn't get rapped up in the drama of the show, Mark Burnett and Co. know how to make a good show so I trusted them. I kept thinking when the show was over, that's when we take over. It was an incredible opportunity to start a new band with 2 other guys I like and respect, find a new singer and use the show to promote the band.

Apparently, things didn't work out:

I just didn't think we'd get such a backlash from the hard rock community. I was very surprised that they didn't trust us to represent rock n' roll on TV. I got into it for all the right reasons and I was more disappointed than anyone that it didn't work.

In early 2007 Gilby would discuss the differences between being a guitarist in someone else's band and his solo career:

I've always looked at myself as a musician, you know. And musicians have to do certain things to make a living. You know. And sometimes I'll take a guitar job. You know, sometimes I'll go play guitar with a band like Heart or something for a tour. You know, gotta earn a living that summer, you know? And other times I'll go play guitar with the MC5. So sometimes, you know, I'll take guitar gigs. But I try to, for me, what's important is I play guitar a certain way and I'm not the kind of guy that can adapt to certain styles. The music has pretty much be based around the way I play. And that's why I never really fit in with a lot of the current metal bands, back in the eighties and nineties. I was more of a bluesier, rock player. So it was hard, just kinda hard finding the right gigs. And you know, when I'm writing and performing my own music, it's right up my style, you know. That's what I like to play. I always had that: if there wasn't a guitar gig out there, I could always go out and do some dates on my own. I always had some pretty decent audiences out there, and could always make a record that I thought was good.

In May 2008, Rock Star: Supernova would come together for a benefit show:

It is kind of funny because we never officially pulled the plug on it. It was a project and Tommy (Lee) and I will always be friends. I just don't think it is anyone's priority at this point. I think we gave it our best shot and there were some things that were successful about it and some things that weren't. I don't think it will ever really go away but over time we may forget about it. At this point, you never really know what will come up.

Rock Star Supernova did not last long and Gilby would look back:

we did the show, record & tour. i wanted it to be a real band & carry on. but when we started touring everybody had a different idea of what the band should be. so we folded up shop.

When we did the TV show ['Rock Star: Supernova'], for us, it was really about the band. Myself, Tommy and Jason, we were really excited about getting the band together. The TV show was just a way for us to look around and find a singer. Even for guys like us, you can't just go, 'Oh, let's find a singer.' All the good singers are in bands and they're busy. So we thought that we would try and look throughout the world to find [a singer] and the TV show came along. So we were happy. I thought Lukas did a great job on the record, when we picked him from the show. After the show, we did do a tour — we did a full U.S. tour, went down to Australia and everything — but it was really clear that it wasn't good enough. It happened so fast that I don't think that we really had time to develop a band sound — like, play together. It's really hard when you have three guys that are successful to get together and just start a new band like it's in the garage — it's impossible. And I think that, because of that, it was something that wasn't going to last. Because, after doing the shows, I didn't wanna do it anymore. I didn't like Lukas' commitment, and Tommy was still in Motley Crue, he was still DJing and everything. To me, I gave up everything to do that band, and I wanted to see the same from everybody else.

Well, I still stick with how I felt back then. When I got involved with it, I got involved for all the right reasons: I actually wanted to get in a new band. I wanted to start a new project with people that I respected. And seeing what Slash, Duff, and Matt went through to find a new singer for their project... I don't know if they remember this, but it was years they were looking for a singer before they found Scott [Weiland] for Velvet Revolver. When this idea came up, I was all gung ho. I was like, "Wow, maybe we can find a new young singer out there." Look, like most rock & roll guys, I'm not a fan of American Idol. But to me this was a chance for these young singers to get up there and sing their own song. You don't have to do a cover song, you have the opportunity to sing your own song if you want to. So I was very supportive of that.

I do realize that rock & roll and TV aren't the best mix out there, and I really am old-school about stuff like that. So I knew that we were taking some chances. But yes, years later, I do think it was worth it. Of course, it didn't go the way I was hoping it should go. The record is okay; I did try to make a really good record. There were just so many forces against me, fighting me to make a really good record. It was an experience. I am glad that I went through it, but it certainly didn't turn out the way I hoped it would.

I had a great time doing the TV show, but for some reason it wasn’t easy doing the band. I don’t think Tommy Lee ever took it seriously, and Jason Newsted was too serious. I seemed to be stuck in the middle. Tommy was my friend and I knew what we were getting with him, but I could never get Jason to understand what it takes to motivate Tommy. I was also taken back by the backlash from the hard rock community. At that time there was so much shit on TV. We were trying to bring some integrity to rock music and the producers were on our side.

Jason Newstead did not miss the band:

When I was talking about a bad experience or a not so great experience in that particular instance, that was the one I was referring to, yes. If you think about that one, you’ve got the two biggest Hollywood rock star bands involved with a guy from the purest metal band. You’ve got Guns ’N Roses, which is so much fakey, Hollywood stuff. You’ve then got Mötley Crüe which is even more fakey, Hollywood stuff, and then you’ve got real metal. It was not easy to get them to come to rehearsals, or even play songs. We only got to have like five rehearsals in the entire existence of the band. That’s not the way I do things. I work hard and I practise hard, and I always have. I don’t do that kind of Hollywood shit, man (laughs).
Metal Forces, January 2013


Actually, last year I did four back to back records! I did a Crash Kelly record, I did a Silent Rage record, a band called Motochrist's record and I just mixed The Alarm's record. So I always producing. If I am not performing live then I am producing. A young band like Crash Kelly, at this point they are definitely seasoned musicians and they know how to play. It is more about getting to the arrangements or the songs. With Sean (Kelly), who is the lead singer and guitarist, it is more about making sure he is hearing back what he has.


Gilby Clarke (Guns N' Roses) and Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns) are joining forces for the first time and embarking on the "Lone Guns" North American tour. Clarke will perform songs from Guns N' Roses as well as Rockstar Supernova and Tracii Guns has promised deep catalog L.A. Guns tracks as well as the hits, plus surprises. Each encore will feature Gilby and Tracii jamming together and every show will be different so this is guaranteed to be an event not to be missed!
Blabbermouth, March 4, 2009


I did a lot of producing last year... Silent Rage, Crash Kelly, The Alarm & Motochrist. I also have a new band with Eric Dover, Steve Perkins & Daniel Schulman doing 70's era glam songs called "Halloween Jack". We play every Wednesday at the Dragonfly in Hollywood.


This band has its own separate chapter.


I’m working on a solo album. But what I want right now is to find a singer so that I can just play guitar. [...] But I mostly want to play guitar. I like it more than singing. I’m gonna put the record together and if I find a singer I’ll have him sing on the songs, otherwise I’ll sing myself again. I want to go out there and play festivals again, like I did with MC5, Heart, Nancy Sinatra...

I was hoping to start on it the first of the year... but i just don't have enough songs yet. I've always said "when i have 10 good songs it's time to start a new record." With that being said, there aren't 10 good ones yet.

i'm working on a new solo record. i would like to have it out by the end of the year. i still love playing rock n roll. [...] right now i have 6 [new songs], so 4 more...

[Talking about the 6 songs]: there's some hard rock riffing type tunes & there's some bluesier, groove songs. i always try to have variety, i hate when records sound like one continued song.

(laughs) Well, I've got about six songs done. I always say that when I have ten good songs I'll make a record. It's just not there yet and I don't want to put out something that's shitty.

By 2017, the record was finally recorded:

It's been a long time, and I've kind of been working on this record for, like, about four or five years, which would sound like, 'Oh my God! It's an epic.' It's not. I just… I can't put a record out unless I think it's good. And I've been writing tunes and I've been recording a lot, but I just honestly didn't think it was good. And up until this year, I've really got a good batch of songs. And after these next few weeks, the shows for us, we're taking a few months off because I wanna finish this record. I wanna get it out by the end of the year.

I’m making a new solo album and I’m almost finished. I’ve been working on this record for a long time … well, long time in maybe six months on and off, but I like it. [...] I’ve made a few solo records, but I don’t really feel that’s my career. It’s just an outlet of songs and things, but I was out on the road doing a solo show and someone said, ‘You know, you haven’t made a solo record since 2003.’ I was like, ‘Are you serious?’ That makes me feel like I haven’t written anything. So it kind of made me just bog down and start writing and I’m just enjoying the process. I went in with a certain amount of songs and the creative process just opened up and I’m very happy with it. [...] It’s not such a hard rock record. but it’s just a rock record. It’s definitely loud guitars, big drums and I’m screaming through it [...].

I’ve finished recording the new record, but it still needs to be mixed. It’s a solo record, but with that being said there are many guest drummers and bassist. I play all the guitars and vocals. On drums I had Kenny Arronoff, Stephen Perkins, Matt Starr and many others; while on bass Sean McNabb, Muddy Stardust, EJ Curse, and Nikki Sixx make appearances.

Kenny Aronoff, who has played on every f—king record in the world is playing drums. Stephen Perkins from Jane’s Addiction played a lot on it, and then my actual solo band which is EJ Curse and Troy Patrick Farrell are on it. Sean McNabb, who is here today, he played on it. No other guitar players. I’m the only guitar player on it. I have had guest guitar players over time, but not like I made a plan, but songs just evolve naturally over time and I was always there for the guitar playing.

I'm pretty much finished with the recording — I’m in the mixing stages. As an artist, there’s always that question: Do you modernize your sound? I’ve always felt that I am what I am. I would hope that after all these years, I’m getting better at it.

I didn't really realize how much time had gone by in between records. It's been since 2003 that I made a record. Artistically, it was time. There were years where I wrote some songs, and I jump-started this record a few times. I was working with a really good bass player and drummer and I just wasn't feeling it. I kept working on songs, and I go, 'I'm forcing it. It doesn't feel good.' When I started this year on it, it started to feel good. What's different is I'm getting better — I'm a better musician, I'm a better guitar player, I'm a better singer, I'm a better writer. It's getting more defined. It's still rock n' roll... but I'm getting better at it.

This year, I really haven't been doing many gigs; we've just done a few here and there. But I've been working on a new record all year long. At the beginning of the year, I had a handful of songs that I thought were really good and I just spent the whole year tracking them. And it's done, it's getting mixed right now. And hopefully it's gonna be a first-quarter-of-next-year release. But it is done, and in my opinion, it's pretty damn good. I've tried to jump-start this record a few times over the last few years and I just didn't feel good about it until I got this batch of songs. And I'm really happy right now — I think it's a good rock and roll record.

Still, by late 2018 the album was still not out and Gilby gave an update:

[The album is] for the most part done. Obviously, there's a few tweaks here and there, but the songs are done. [...] We don't have a release date yet, but we're shooting for springtime.

He would also provide an update on what he had been doing recently:

It's funny, 'cause I get that a lot: 'What are you doing?' And I always feel like, 'Do I have to announce my biography of the current last three years?' But I work — I work all the time. Number one, I consider myself a guitarist, so I do get hired to do guitar jobs here and there. I do a lot of production — I'm a producer; I do produce quite a few bands and artists. I have a really nice recording studio. I just finished a new record by a band called Hillbilly Herald, which has been around for a little bit; they've opened for Slash, they've opened for Steel Panther. And I just finished their new record; that's probably not gonna be out until next year. I've done a couple of different bands. We also have a couple of corporate bands that we do; sometimes they're corporate shows, sometimes they're just live all-star bands. One of them was Kings Of Chaos; the other one was Royal Machines. And believe it or not, they keep you busy. And little TV, movie work here and there; it's not something I set out to do all the time, but things do drop in my lap. I actually just got a song in a really big movie that's about to come out. I'm not gonna announce it yet, but I'm really excited about that.

I have a new solo album coming out next spring so I’m just kind of getting out there. I got offered a little run of shows so I decided to take it and get the blood pumping again. Over the last five or six years, I do gig dates but I don’t do a full-blown tour. It’s mostly weekend warrior stuff and most of it is international. Rarely do we play in the States.

Describing the new album:

Anybody who knows me as a solo artist, my records don’t really sound that different. Songs on Swag could be on Pawnshop Guitars and songs on Pawnshop Guitars could be on The Hangover. That’s the music I like. I always create a record I would want to hear. I like rock and roll though I guess it’s now called classic rock. I like loud guitars, I like the drums pumping, good melodies and good guitar parts. This record really is like a classic rock and roll record. There are no modern twists but it’s punchy. To me it’s got like Bad Company or early Queen. It’s definitely guitar-drive and I have a couple rootsy songs on there in open G or that Stonesy or country twang to it. No frills or tricks.

I have not done a record since 2003, so it's been a long time coming. For me, I can't do a record unless I feel good about the songs. I wanna make a record that I wanna listen to. So, these songs I'm really excited about. They're new songs. It really is classic rock. There's really nothing new on it — it's just a new version of what I like to do, which is loud guitars, man. So, I went in there. I used guys like Kenny Aronoff on drums, Steve Perkins — some really great players. I played all the guitars and did all the singing on it. But I think it's good — I think it's a good fresh approach on classic rock, really.

As for when the album would come out:

I think May. May is our plan, so hopefully May. I mean, this has been going on for a few years. The deal is done. I hope for May.

Well, that's what I'm trying to find out. We don't have an official date yet. I'm still waiting on that. I'm hoping that it's going to be in May. But that's not official yet. It's a strange thing now, the actual release date can be confusing because they release singles before. I don't know, it's confusing to me. My job is to write, record, and perform. That's my part.

By April 2019, the album had been named The Gospel Truth [Ultimate Guitar, April 2, 2019]. Gilby produced the album himself [Ultimate Guitar, April 2, 2019].

Talking about the long gestation period:

[...] I haven't done a solo record since 2003. During that time, I've tried to make this record a few different times but things would come up that would raid my song vault. I'm not one of those prolific guys who write 100 songs a year. If I make a record, I write 10 songs. If [an idea] isn't good, I just toss it. I won't finish the lyrics and waste my time with it if it's not something that does something for me. So I guess I'd say the writing and recording have been on and off for the last three years. That's kind of when I got serious and started organizing the musicians and tracking them and all that. I could say I started writing it 15 years ago but realistically it's been, like, three years.

And the various players involved:

Well, that's what's great about making a solo record, you're not tied down. So I had Kenny Aronoff played drums, Steven Perkins [Jane's Addiction] played drums, Matthew Starr [Ace Frehley, Mr. Big] played drums. I'm trying to remember now [laughs]... On bass, I used Sean McNabb [Dokken, Queensryche, Don Felder], EJ Curse who plays in my solo band, I used Nikki Sixx. That's all I can remember off the top of my head right now.

The Gospel Truth
April 23, 2021

Last edited by Soulmonster on Wed 8 May 2024 - 8:00; edited 4 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Wed 8 May 2024 - 7:52


The guitar tech Sean Paden got involved with the band either in early 1995 (when Zakk Wylde played with the band) or at some point in 1994.

After those years I was tired and looking to go back to the shop and did for awhile until the day I got a call to go work for Axl Rose in the studio as “the” guitar tech for the new Guns-n-Roses. Here is where my career gets weird. I spent six years there working on a record that still isn’t done yet. The music is really cool and I liked it enough to stay for that long. To make a long story short - Zakk at one point in time was going to join G-n-R with Slash and Axl and that’s where I met Zakk., 2003

Six years would suggest he ended his tenure with Guns N' Roses in 2001. Dave Dominguez would mention Paden working with Axl in 1998 when the band moved to Rumbo Records to start rehearsing and recording what would become Chinese Democracy. There are other indications Paden moved from Los Angeles in 1999 and thus probably ended his work with the band then [, 2020]. In either case, Paden was there through a tumultuous period of the band's history but has, as far as we know, unfortunately not spoken publicly about his time with the band.
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