Former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Gilby Clarke says that he was asked to take part in the band's "Not In This Lifetime" tour but that he had to turn it down.
Clarke replaced founding guitarist 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.
During an appearance on this week's edition of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation LA Invasion: Live From The Rainbow Bar & Grill", Gilby was asked if he is surprised by the massive success of GUNS N' ROSES' reunion tour, which features three-fifths of the group's classic lineup: singer Axl Rose, guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan. "Yes, definitely," he responded (hear audio below). "I mean, to this level. I think we all expected great things, I think we all thought that they were gonna sell out everywhere, but, to be honest, I didn't think that it would last this long and do this well; I definitely didn't expect that."
Asked if he still talks to any of the guys from GUNS N' ROSES, Gilby said: "I don't really talk to 'em, although I actually saw everybody yesterday. They were rehearsing and I was getting my gear. We were at the same place."
Clarke confirmed that his chance encounter with GN'R was a cordial one. "Oh, absolutely," he said. "I mean, I'm still cool with Axl; I'm still cool with everybody. I have no ill feelings or anything."
When host Eddie Trunk asked Clarke if the GUNS N' ROSES guys ever reached out to him about joining them on the "Not In This Lifetime" tour, Gilby said: "They did. Yeah, they did. When it first started, they did reach out to me to come and play." 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."
Clarke, along with Slash, McKagan, and former GN'R drummers Steven Adler and Matt Sorum, performed three "Appetite For Destruction" songs with Myles Kennedy at the band's Rock 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.
Gilby has spent the last few years working on a new solo album that will reportedly feature guest appearances by drummers Stephen Perkins (JANE'S ADDICTION) and Matt Starr (ACE FREHLEY, MR. BIG) along with members of Clarke's solo band, EJ Curse (bass/vocals) and Troy Patrick Farrell (drums/vocals).