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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 Aug 05, 2020 4:43 pm


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]. 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

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.


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.

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 Aug 05, 2020 4:43 pm


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 Aug 05, 2020 4:44 pm


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.

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.

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.

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Post by Soulmonster Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:44 pm


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.

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.

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Post by Soulmonster Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:44 pm


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.


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


In September 200 Gilby would answer what he remembered the most from the 90s:

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.

1999/2000 - STARFUCKERS

In 2000 or 1999, 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 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.


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


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).

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.


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.


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 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.


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!


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.
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