GILBY CLARKE: How I Found Out I Was No Longer A Member Of GUNS N' ROSES

December 19, 2019

During an appearance on the latest episode of "Riki Rachtman's Cathouse Hollywood Podcast", former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Gilby Clarke was asked if he had felt any bitterness once his time in the group had ended nearly 25 years ago. He responded: "No. Honestly, not at all. I would tell you if I did.

"I felt on the tour, as the tour was ending, that the band was over," Gilby explained. "That was my honest, intellectual conclusion: 'The band's over.' Duff [McKagan, GUNS N' ROSES bassist], physically, looked terrible. The alcohol abuse was so bad that he was bloated. I didn't think he had many days left. Axl [Rose, GUNS singer] and Slash [GUNS guitarist] were not seeing eye to eye — Axl saw the band one way; Slash saw it another way; I didn't see them meeting. It's not like I was trying to be in the middle or whatever. It was fractured.

"So, towards the end of the tour, I got an offer to do a solo record. 'Caue before GUNS, I had a deal with Virgin Publishing. I was a songwriter, and they offered me a record deal once I got the GUNS gig to do a solo record.

"Look, I didn't wanna do a solo record — I'd much rather do a GUNS N' ROSES record — but the band was not gonna make a record for a long time," he continued. "So, I got the offer. I asked the guys, 'These are my songs. Do you have any interest in them for GUNS N' ROSES in the future?' And they said, 'No.' [I said,] 'Is it okay if I make a solo record?' And they said, 'Absolutely. Keep yourself busy.' So I did — I made the solo [record] right after.

"So, when you say was I bitter? I was already on tour doing my solo record. During my break, I made the SLASH'S SNAKEPIT record with Slash and was gonna go on tour. I was on the road for five years straight."

Detailing the way he found out he was no longer a member of GUNS N' ROSES, Gilby said: "Basically, Slash said, 'Meet me at Casa Vega.' He goes, 'Axl doesn't want you in the band anymore.' He goes, 'I don't know what it is — I honestly don't. He goes, 'Just go with it. I'm not saying this is permanent. I'm just saying this is where it is. He wants to work on some new music. He doesn't see what we're doing as viable.' And that's also the time when Slash decided to make the SLASH'S SNAKEPIT record. 'Cause [Axl] didn't like Slash's stuff either, but he wasn't kicking Slash out of the band.

"So, basically, they didn't fire me, but my paychecks stopped. And then, a week later, Slash had this revelation. He goes, 'What the fuck are we doing? Are we gonna replace Gilby?' And he called me. He goes, 'You know what? Everything's fine. You're in the band, don't worry about it.' But my paychecks never came back. And that was it. So, like I said, I never officially was fired from the band, but it just kind of ended. And I was busy — I had my solo record; I had Slash's thing.

"And also, remember, it's not like I was not in the band and the band was doing anything. They didn't do anything [after I was stopped getting my paychecks]."

Clarke replaced founding guitarist Izzy Stradlin in the GUNS lineup in 1991, during the "Use Your Illusion" tour, and stayed with the band for four years.

He has continued as a producer and solo artist since then, while also playing in ROCK STAR SUPERNOVA, HEART and other acts.

Clarke reunited with GUNS members Slash, Steven Adler, Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan at the band's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction in April 2012, although he himself was not inducted as part of the band.

Gilby has spent the last few years working on a new solo album, "The Gospel Truth", that is expected to feature guest appearances by drummers Stephen Perkins (JANE'S ADDICTION) and Matt Starr (ACE FREHLEY) along with members of Clarke's solo band, EJ Curse (bass/vocals) and Troy Patrick Farrell (drums/vocals).

Last year, Clarke told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation LA Invasion: Live From The Rainbow Bar & Grill" that the GUNS N' ROSES guys contacted him about joining them on the "Not In This Lifetime" tour. "When it first started, they did reach out to me to come and play," he said. However, according to the guitarist, he had to decline the offer for a very good reason. "My daughter, Frankie, has a band [FRANKIE + THE STUDS]," he said. "They asked me the same day my daughter's band was playing Lollapalooza [in July 2016], which was like the biggest break for her band. It was the same day they were playing Lollapalooza and I had to be there, and I couldn't really give that up to go [jam with GN'R]."

Gilby says that he is still open to the idea of playing with GUNS N' ROSES again. "I have nothing against it," he said. "It's just that didn't work out for me."

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