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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.


1994.07.20 - RAW - Gun On The Run (Gilby)

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1994.07.20 - RAW - Gun On The Run (Gilby) Empty 1994.07.20 - RAW - Gun On The Run (Gilby)

Post by Blackstar Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:57 am

GUNS N’ ROSES and BON JOVI, two heavy metal legends, have been hit with split rumours this week. In the first of two sensational RAW stories, NEIL JEFFRIES investigates the messy split between GUNS N’ ROSES and guitarist GILBY CLARKE. In the second, beginning on page 32, ALEC JOHN SUCH lifts the lid on life with JON BON JOVI…
Gilby Clarke claims that W Axl Rose has rejected material written by Clarke and Slash for GN’R’s new LP!
Clarke also claims that Rose regularly fires members of the band!
Slash claims that Axl Rose HAS fired Gilby Clarke!
But Gilby Clarke claims he’s STILL in GN’R despite all the troubles.
Is Gilby deluded? Has Axl Rose cracked? Is the Gunner now a gonner?

Gilby Clarke is a man who isn’t easily phased. While press reports suggest that W Axl Rose, the goose that laid his golden egg, has shat upon him from a great height and kicked him out of Guns N’ Roses, Gilby merely laughs and says:
“Well, that’s just not true. There was an article in the metal press where certain things that I said were chopped up to make it a little more interesting. But everything is okay now.
“Guns N’ Roses are on down time right now. I’d decided that after I’d made the record I was gonna go on tour. So I pretty much gave notice to the band that when my record came out I was gonna spend eight months on it. Otherwise I could’ve sat around waiting for things to happen…
“When that article came out, our manager said, ‘Oh my God! What happened?’ But I read it and just started laughing. It’s like, ‘What do you expect? Why don’t you ask them for the excerpts of that tape and find out what I really said?’!”
But did you really laugh? I think my reaction would have been ‘Oh god, what have I said?’…
“Oh no, ‘cos I know what I said. And also the guys in the band know what it’s like to do interviews. Half of the quotes in that interview weren’t even in the interview, they were from a conversation I had in a nightclub with the writer…”
So you’re still speaking to Axl?
“Well, I haven’t spoken to him in a while, but that’s ‘cos he’s on vacation or something (laughs). Hey, do me a favour and don’t print a picture of him with this article!”
Er, we did anyway. But hell, you know what magazines are like. They ask dumbass questions and blame them on other people. Just watch me…
You’ve got most of the guys from GN’R on your new album, ‘Pawn Shop Guitars’. Does it bother you that people could say you’re hanging your album on their name?
“You’re always gonna have that GN’R thing. No matter what I do, people are always gonna say, ‘He used to be a guitar player in GN’R’.
“It’s like, I don’t have a band, y’know? GN’R’s my band… and it seemed natural to pull those guys in on it and I did.
“I thought it would be really cool to have Axl play piano…” (on ‘Dead Flowers’) “…I didn’t even ask him to sing. He offered and it’s not like I’m gonna turn him down!
“But it was fun. Slash is my best friend. I can sit in my studio and jam and Slash will come and play. I see Matt (Sorum – drummer) every single day. It has nothing to do with being in Guns N’ Roses…”
So if you’re that close to Slash and Matt, how come you’ve already said that you’ve been fired “a few times”?
“It’s just a thing about being part of the GN’R lifestyle. But when they come up they’re very momentary. You could have an argument at the end of the night, but with GN’R it’s not like, ‘Grumpy-grumpy…’ It’s more like, ‘RIGHT! You’re FIRED!’. It’s what we deal with every day.
“Luckily for people like me and Matt coming into the band, we know the history of the group and how it works. Axl and Izzy (Stradlin’ – departed guitarist) have had some huge arguments where Izzy has quit the band for two-and-a-half years. But they’re still talking! That’s just how it is!”
So although these arguments are behind closed doors, word gets out and gets misinterpreted?
“That’s a part of it. When you have an organization like GN’R, it’s not a thing of five or six people in the band: there’s management, there’s friends of management, there’s friends of security…It’s like that old thing of sitting in a circle and you pass a rumour around…”
So rumours of your departure have been exaggerated?
“Oh, way exaggerated! There are things that I’ve heard that I don’t even know where they came from!”
The Gilby Clarke solo album, ‘Pawn Shop Guitars’, gets a worldwide release by Virgin on July 25, and features GN’R’s Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum and Dizzy Reed on various songs. Other guests include former Dogs D’Amour guitarist Jo Dog and Skid Row drummer Rob Affuso.
Although not the greatest singer in the world, Gilby decided against recruiting a vocalist ‘cos that “is kinda like starting a new band and I didn’t want to do that. Even though it would have been better if a singer had sung it, to me it’s just that little bit more personal.”
‘Pawn Shop Guitars’ – produced by Keith Richards’ guitarist Waddy Wachtel – is impossible to pigeonhole. The only box it belongs in is one marked ‘diverse’.
“I wanted to make an album that I’d really enjoy listening to,” says Gilby. “I didn’t want to make one to make cash. I had to like the songs.
“When I used to buy records I always liked the whole record. I knew every song, knew all the words… But nowadays I get a record and it’s like, there’s just one good song on it and it’s gone… So I always try to write the best song I can that appeals to me.”
Slash has said that Axl rejected most of the songs he put forward for a Guns album, and is now saving them for his solo record. Was there never any chance of Gilby’s songs being chosen by Axl?
“I don’t know,” says Gilby. “It comes down to Axl’s choice, ‘cos he has to sing it. You might bring something in and he could like it – but it won’t last for ever. He may decide one thing one day and another thing another day.
“I just write songs and the stuff that I think is good, I play it for him. I don’t ever say, ‘I gotta write a Guns song’…
“I won’t print lyrics on the record, I’d prefer you to listen to it a couple of times and either you like it or you don’t. ‘Tijuana Jail’ is a story that I heard from somebody who’d just been down to Tijuana and always gotten in trouble. ‘Johanna’s Chopper’ has got a lot of Beatles influence in it; I tried to make it kinda spacey like ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ – but the words came along because I named my motorcycle Johanna after this little girl that I met on an aeroplane. She was like, five years old, but we talked for a long time, it was really funny…”
Apart from the two covers on the album – the Rolling Stones’ ‘Dead Flowers’ and ‘Jail Guitar Doors’, originally by The Clash – Gilby has also recorded ‘Life’s A Gas’ by T Rex and Cheap Trick’s ‘He’s A Whore’ for B-sides. Were those songs ever considered for ‘The Spaghetti Incident?’?
“Well, Axl asked me what stuff I’d like to do and I said ‘Jail Guitar Doors’. But when we brought it up nobody liked it except me!”
Duff plays on your version, though, doesn’t he?
“Yes, Duff plays bass and drums on the song. Duff did a great job on drums on his own record and when I did this Clash song you can’t take someone like Matt (Sorum) – he’s just too good to do that kind of thing! You gotta get somebody like Duff who’s got a great punk rock attitude…”

Gilby Clarke’s spell in GN’R looks all but over. This is where he came from and where he went!
1984: Gilby is the 19-year-old guitarist in LA outfit Candy, a band he describes as” “A cross between The Monkees and Johnny Thunders!”
1985: Candy sign to Polygram and undertake a US arena tour with soft rock supremo Rick Springfield.
1987: Candy split. Clarke cuts his songwriting teeth in a new band, Kill For Thrills. Guns N’ Roses, meantime, release their epochal ‘Appetite For Destruction’ LP, and Clarke gets to know the band via the LA club scene.
1989: Kill For Thrills release an independent mini-album via the World Of Hurt label, and get signed to MCA. Guns N’ Roses are, of course, experiencing stellar success.
1990: Kill For Thrills’ full-length debut album, ‘Dynamite From Nightmareland’ emerges to critical acclaim. GN’R are working on material for the ‘Use Your Illusion’ albums.
1991: Guns N’ Roses begin a world tour in May, well upfront of the September 16 releases of the ‘Use Your Illusion’ albums. The departure of guitarist Izzy Stradlin’ is heavily rumoured, and when the band complete the first part of their tour, in September, he quits. Stradlin’s departure is not officially announced until late November. When GN’R go back on the road in America on 5 December 1991, Gilby Clarke is their new guitarist.
1992: GN’R’s ‘Get In The Ring’ tour rolls on, including an appearance at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Show at Wembley Stadium on April 20. Clarke is unsure of his standing in GN’R, with Axl and Slash saying they’ll complete the tour and start writing before making a decision on Gilby becoming a full-time member. It becomes increasingly apparent that Axl calls all the shots in GN’R, and that Clarke, keyboard player Dizzy Reed and drummer Matt Sorum are hired hands. Metallica and GN’R tour the US together.
1993: On July 17 the band finally complete their touring schedule. In October, Duff McKagan releases his solo LP, ‘Believe In Me’, which is followed by GN’R’s covers album, ‘The Spaghetti Incident?’, on November 22. Gilby takes part in the recording sessions, reputedly re-doing Stradlin’s rhythm parts.
1994: Gilby announces a solo deal with Virgin, and begins work on his debut LP, ‘Pawn Shop Guitars’. Simultaneously, he and Slash are writing material for the next GN’R LP, which, Clarke claims to the press, is then rejected by Axl Rose. Clarke also says that Axl is always firing people from the band. After his outburst, Slash says that Axl has fired Gilby from the band – and this time it’s permanent. The story is confirmed to RAW via several sources close to GN’R. However, when Clarke calls RAW for this interview, he claims to be unaware that he’s been sacked!

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