TOMMY STINSON: AXL ROSE 'Didn't Appreciate' Me Leaving GUNS N' ROSES

May 29, 2023

During an appearance on the latest episode of the "Appetite For Distortion" podcast, former GUNS N' ROSES bassist Tommy Stinson once again said that he believes the breakup of his marriage may have indirectly led to a partial reunion of the band's classic lineup.

Stinson was a member of the Axl Rose-fronted outfit from 1998 to 2014, but he had to quit when he became "a full-time dad", prompting the return of Duff McKagan for a South American tour.

"I got into a particular situation where I needed to be home," Stinson told "Appetite For Distortion" (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "And the tours that were being talked about, I had to make that kind of decision. And it was one of the hardest decisions I had to make, that I had no choice about; I really had to do it. It put me in a bad light with Axl, obviously, 'cause he was upset with that and didn't appreciate that at all."

Tommy continued: "I can't help but think that if [Axl] would look back now and look at what he did and what he's done since I quit, he might kind of be glad that happened. [Laughs] You know what I mean? I mean, for him to go out and tour with AC/DC [as a temporary replacement for Brian Johnson] was a huge thing in the annals of rock and roll anyway, but I can't imagine him now looking back and going, 'I wouldn't have probably done that had Tommy not quit and we'd just done those tours and just kept on going.' Getting the whole band back together wouldn't have happened — at least not then; might have maybe now. But I think everything is rocking and rolling for him pretty good. I can't imagine him not being grateful."

Stinson went on to say that he has "been to a couple of" GUNS N' ROSES concerts since his exit from the band. "I went to a couple of shows with my buddy Steve," he explained. "We're gonna go see 'em in Kansas in September, before [GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Richard] Fortus's daughter goes to college, actually. I think I'm gonna try to make that show.

"It's funny to be on that side of the fence, for one," Tommy continued. "One of the shows I went to — I can't remember if it was K.C. or Philly — walking around with my buddy Steve, people are recognizing me, going, 'Hey, what are you doing here?' It was really funny 'cause my buddy Steve is a huge GUNS N' ROSES fan and we were having such a laugh about it. 'Cause we were walking around and people were kind of, like, 'Wow, there's Tommy Stinson. What are you doing here, man?' 'I'm here to see the show, like you are.' Yeah, we had a really good time doing that. It was funny."

Back in 2017, Stinson told Rolling Stone that he "wasn't intending to quit GUNS N' ROSES. But I had to tell them, I think, five times in a row my situation at home was so screwed up I couldn't tour," he explained. "I hope that was the thing that pushed the reunion [with Slash and Duff McKagan] to happen, because I know all those guys and they're having a ball. I saw the tour twice. I'm glad for them."

Stinson also revealed that much of the material GUNS N' ROSES recorded during his tenure has yet to be released. "There's some stuff with lyrics, some without," he said. "We did a lot of stuff that was supposed to be on 'Chinese Democracy' — the record was meant to be more than one disc, but after spending so much time on it we just had to put an end to it. There's also stuff that was held over from [the original lineup] before they all disbanded, so there's some stuff that should someday see the light of day."

Stinson told Observer that he didn't miss the GN'R gig. "I miss the people a whole lot and obviously you miss the fans and stuff like that," he said. "But where I'm at in life right now, that's just a whole thing that… I'm not saying I'd never do it again but I'm kind of glad I moved on from that. It really was a lot, and it really required, sadly, because of my circumstances with my ex-wife, to have to put a whole lot of crazy shit into play just to be able to do those tours towards the end, because I had this young daughter."

Stinson, a founding member of the seminal Minneapolis-based rock band THE REPLACEMENTS, last played with GUNS N' ROSES at a 2014 show in Las Vegas.

GUNS N' ROSES's current lineup features Slash, Duff and Axl backed by drummer Frank Ferrer, guitarist Richard Fortus, keyboardist Dizzy Reed and new second keyboardist Melissa Reese.

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