Ex-GUNS N' ROSES Guitarist GILBY CLARKE: 'I'll Always Be Friends With AXL ROSE'
June 3, 2021
In a new interview with Sheldon Ang, Gilby Clarke was asked what it was like to play with GUNS N' ROSES at the height of the iconic band's success in the early 1990s. The guitarist responded: "I didn't feel great in the sense that it felt like I accomplished something; I didn't. I felt good in the sense of this is what I love to do — to play guitar. I love to play great music, whether it's my or somebody else's music. It just felt good to be doing what I love to do and have people appreciate it.
"I'm not an idiot," he continued. "I know that it's Slash, and it's Axl [Rose] — it's GUNS N' ROSES. But still, I'm doing my part. And my part was an important part too. It's not like I was the security guy. It was important to me. But it felt good. There were moments on that tour, like when I'd do my 'Wild Horses' thing" — referring to GN'R's performance of THE ROLLING STONES classic — "I came out by myself and started playing, where you take a moment and you go [takes a deep sigh]. 'Okay.' I did. I did have those moments. But it's also because when I got the gig, I was 30 years old. I had already been through the wringer, man. I knew what it was like to play a shitty club in front of three people. So when I got that gig, I appreciated what was special and unique about that gig."
Asked if he is still friends with Axl, Gilby said: "I'll always be friends with Axl — absolutely. I haven't talked to him in a long time. But he still sends notes every now and then."
Clarke replaced Izzy Stradlin in the GUNS lineup in 1991, during the "Use Your Illusion" tour, and stayed with the band for three years. After exiting GUNS N' ROSES, Clarke continued as a producer and solo artist, while also playing in SLASH'S SNAKEPIT, ROCK STAR SUPERNOVA, HEART and other acts.
Clarke, along with Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and former GN'R drummers Steven Adler and Sorum, performed three "Appetite For Destruction" songs with Myles Kennedy at the GUNSRock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in April 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. Kennedy, who handles lead vocals in Slash's solo band and ALTER BRIDGE, sang "Mr. Brownstone", "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Paradise City", with "Use Your Illusion"-era member Sorum sitting behind the drum kit on "Brownstone" and the man he replaced in GN'R, Adler, pounding the skins for the other two songs.
Clarke's new solo album, "The Gospel Truth", was released in April via Golden Robot Records.