Gilby Clarke On His Exit From Guns N’ Roses

October 31, 2015

Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke recently sat down to do an interview with “Front Row Ravers” and was asked about his time with the band more than two decade ago. He responded: “I can’t really tell you anything new. It’s been 25 years and the stories have all been told. When I joined the band, it was a popular band. It was easier for me coming in, as the band was successful. What was hard was fitting in the group that had already existed, personality-wise, musically and things like that. I was a good match — my guitar playing fit, my image fit and my personality fit. These are the key things that don’t usually fit always. They enjoyed having new blood around too. The easy stuff was we were playing sold-out concerts and records were selling. The hard part is when records aren’t selling, and concerts aren’t selling.”

LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 01:  Rock Star Supernova guitarist Gilby Clarke performs at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino January 1, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The band is touring in support of its self-titled debut album.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Regarding how his time in Guns N’ Roses ended, Clarke said: “Well, [it was] really simple. Axl one day just wanted to change things up. I honestly didn’t know what he wanted to do. He never talked to me directly; I always dealt with Slash. There was one week I was in the band and then the next week he was just pissed off with something. And finally one day the checks stopped coming. That’s how it all ended.”

Clarke was asked earlier in the month by podcast host Eddie Trunk for his thoughts on a GN’R reunion. Clarke (who wasn’t an original member), said: “It’s strange. I mean, obviously, we’ve all heard [the rumors]. I actually did not know the news that Slash and Axl had talked, I didn’t know, and I see him all the time. I don’t know… I mean, obviously, it would be great for music if it did happen.”

Guns w Gilby

Clarke added that he has not heard anything about a reunion from anyone in the band and said that he didn’t think a reunion would actually happen. “No, I really don’t,” he said. As for whether he might be asked to participate, Clarke said: “I think if it happened, obviously, it would be great, but I’ve got to be realistic. The fans want the original five guys, and I do too. It was a great band, [and] it would be great to see that. If it did happen, I would definitely be available to do it.”

Clarke replaced founding guitarist Izzy Stradlin in GN’R in 1991, during the “Use Your Illusion” tour, and stayed with the band for three years.

Clarke reunited with GN’R members Slash, Steven Adler, Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan at the band’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction in April 14, 2012, although he himself was not inducted as part of the band.


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