Izzy Stradlin not involved in Guns N’ Roses reunion
Original rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin revealed recently that he will have no involvement in the upcoming Guns N’ Roses reunion. Stradlin opened a Twitter account to set the record straight on the matter. Fans initially speculated about the account’s authenticity. That debate was settled after Stradlin posted a short video of him playing Jonathan Edwards’ 1971 hit Sunshine.
Shortly after opening the account, Stradlin made the following statement to Rolling Stone regarding his involvement in the reunion:
“At this point in time, I will not be playing at any of the April 2016 GNR shows. I’ve also not been in the studio recording or writing with any of the others recently. There is so much speculation, but so very little info, [that] I thought I should reach out.”
He also addressed the controversy over his new Twitter account:
“I know there’s a lot of questions regarding my Twitter account. But it’s me. I opened the Twitter account. There’s so much misinformation, so I wanted to clarify… A lot of stuff [fans] are reading isn’t true.”
Six Guns N’ Roses reunion dates confirmed
Guns N’ Roses have announced six dates in April so far. Two headline shows are taking place in Las Vegas, along with two Mexico City dates. The band will also make two performances at the headliners of Coachella Festival in California. So far the confirmed line-up features classic-era members Axl Rose (vocals), Slash (lead guitar) and Duff McKagan (bass). The April performances will mark the first time the three musicians will play together since a July 17, 1993 gig in Buenos Aires.
News a big blow for fans
The news that Stradlin is not taking part is a significant blow to the Guns N’ Roses reunion. It’s safe to say this is not the reunion that most fans have been waiting for. Stradlin’s contributions to Guns N’ Roses go far beyond playing rhythm guitar. Stradlin formed the band along with his childhood friend Rose in 1985, and was one of only two members to survive the early line-up changes. He continued playing with the band until his departure in November, 1991. A new-found perspective that came with sobriety and bad blood with Rose were cited as key reasons for the split.
Stradlin’s simple and powerful playing was a key part of the band that took over the world in the late ’80s and early ’90s. He played on the three essential albums made by the band: Appetite for Destruction (1987), Use Your Illusion I (1991) and Use Your Illusion II (1991). His song-writing contributions were also significant throughout his time in the group. Songs that Izzy co-wrote include classics such as Sweet Child o’ Mine, Welcome to the Jungle, Paradise City, Nightrain, Double Talkin’ Jive and You Could Be Mine.
Stradlin briefly returned to the band in 1993, replacing the injured Gilby Clarke for five shows. He soon departed though and resumed his solo work, followed by a hiatus from music. He returned to the Rose-led Guns N’ Roses band in a touring capacity in both 2006 and 2012, so he appears to have buried the hatchet with the famously acerbic frontman.
Stradlin has not explained exactly why he was not involved with the current reunion plan. The guitarist is the most reclusive of all the Appetite for Destruction-era members. He’s continued to release solo albums over the years but his musical output has remained fairly low-profile for the most part. He has also showed an aversion to frequent touring, so perhaps his personal preferences played a part in his non-involvement.
Full line-up still up in the air
There’s no official word on the remaining band members booked to play the Guns N’ Roses reunion shows. Names put forward in the press so far include Rose-era members Frank Ferrer (drums), Richard Fortus (guitar) and Chris Pitman (keyboards). Longtime member and Use Your Illusion keyboardist Dizzy Reed is also a likely candidate for inclusion. Naturally fans would love to see classic-era drummers Steven Adler or Matt Sorum involved in the reunion. With the reunion shows only a month away, their involvement seems increasingly unlikely.
Alice in Chains booked for reunion shows
Seattle rockers Alice in Chains were recently confirmed as the support act for the Gunners for the first two reunion shows. The group, which always sat on the heavier side of the 90s alternative movement, will open for the Las Vegas shows taking place on April 8 and 9. Alice in Chains are no strangers to a tumultuous line-up history either, so the booking seems fitting.
As for what’s next after the initial run of reunion shows, the rumour mill suggests Guns N’ Roses are considering booking a North American stadium tour this summer. Former Guns N’ Roses publicist Arlett Vereecke has stated that Slash is in the studio working on new material for the band. There’s no official word on either the summer tour or studio work though.