GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash says that "there were a lot of different issues" that prevented Izzy Stradlin from being involved with the band's reunion tour.
While GUNS N' ROSES' "Not In This Lifetime" trek features the "classic era" lineup of Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and singer Axl Rose — with the occasional guest appearance by drummer Steven Adler — Stradlin has not taken part in any shows on the tour, with unconfirmed reports claiming that he turned down a five-figure fee to play with GUNS N' ROSES at the April 2016 reunion shows.
Now, in a new interview with Classic Rock magazine, Slash has offered more information on the circumstances that led to Izzy's absence from the trek. When Classic Rock writer Paul Elliott asked Slash if Stradlin ever explained why he didn't want to be a part of it again, Slash said: "I haven't really talked to him since then. There were a lot of different issues that I'm not really going to get into. We wanted it to work out, but we couldn't seem to meet eye to eye on the whole thing. So it just never happened."
More than two years ago, McKagan told Classic Rock that he doesn't think Stradlin "ever wanted to" be part of the GN'R reunion. "We tried to make it work, but it just didn't," he explained. "And in a situation like this, you're really in it, man. You either get on it or you don't, because the train's moving forward. The good thing is, Slash really likes playing with Richard Fortus [GN'R guitarist since 2002], and Slash is somewhat picky about that kind of stuff. They get on great as far as a two-guitar player relationship goes."
He continued: "To be honest, I haven't taken a lot of time to go back on the Izzy thing because we just move forward, and things are so good. And as I've found out many times in my life, things are supposed to happen as they happen."
In 2018, Izzy blamed his non-involvement with the GUNS N' ROSES reunion tour on the fact that he and the other guys in the band were unable "to reach a happy middle ground through the negotiation process." He also previously claimed that he stepped away from the reunion because the band didn't want to "split the loot equally."
Rose told Brazil's Globo TV in a 2016 interview that wasn't optimistic about Stradlin rejoining his former bandmates. "I don't really know what to say about Izzy," Axl said. "It's like you could have a conversation and think it's one way and the next day it's another way. And I'm not trying to take any shots at Izzy. It's just his thing is kind of his thing, whatever that is."
Stradlin, whose real name is Jeffrey Isbell, was born and grew up in Lafayette, Indiana, where he was high school friends and bandmates with singer William Bailey — later known as Axl Rose.
His first and only post-GUNS band, IZZY STRADLIN & THE JU JU HOUNDS, broke up in 1993 after recording one LP. He has since released 10 more solo albums between 1998 and 2010.