Former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Gilby Clarke has clarified his previous comment 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.
Clarke addressed his non-participation in GUNS N' ROSES' reunion tour, which features three-fifths of the group's classic lineup — singer Axl Rose, guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan — during a new interview with "The SDR Show". He said (see video below): "They didn't ask me to join the band; they asked me to come out and do [a guest appearance] with the band. And it just happened to be the day that I was in Chicago with my daughter. Her band was playing Lollapalooza [in July 2016]. And I'm actually her roadie. I don't think anybody would know how to tune the guitar if I wasn't there. Just kidding. But, yeah, it was just bad timing. I just said, 'Look, I think it's a great idea. I'm up for it. I just can't do it today.' And they literally asked me that day. And I never heard back from them after I said that."
Gilby also confirmed that he only had a week to learn the entire GUNS catalog when he first joined the band nearly three decades ago. "That's true," he said. "They told me on a Monday, that 'You have the gig,' and the next week we were flying to Boston for our first show. And I literally had a week. And remember, this is before YouTube. I was glued to their records with the headphones on, trying to learn the catalog. And the last song I learned was a song called 'Estranged', which was a really long ballad piece. And if you listen to it, it's kind of one-dimensional guitar-wise — it really just features Slash. So I was listening to it, and I really couldn't figure out what I should do in that song. So I went to Dizzy [Reed, GUNS keyboardist]. I go, 'Hey, man, can you sit down with me, and let's work on 'Estranged'.' I go, 'I just wanna kind of figure it out.' And he goes, 'Oh, well, here's the music book.' And he handed me the music book. And I went, 'There's a music book? I just spent a week learning every note by ear when I could have just grabbed the freakin' music book…' I mean, I read charts — it would have taken me an hour. I was a little pissed off that I didn't ask. They could have offered it to 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.
Clarke's new solo album, "The Gospel Truth", will be released later this year via Golden Robot Records. The disc was produced and written by Gilby at his Los Angeles recording studio, Redrum Recording, where he's also helmed records for such artists as L.A. GUNS, THE BRONX, BEAT ANGELS, BULLETS AND OCTANE and many more. The album was mixed by Grammy Award winner Chris Lord-Alge and mastered by Maor Appelbaum. Joining Gilby on the LP are Muddy Stardust on bass, Kenny Aronoff (JOHN MELLENCAMP, JOHN FOGERTY, CHICKENFOOT) on drums, along with Matt Starr (ACE FREHLEY, MR. BIG) and Chad Stewart (FASTER PUSSYCAT, L.A. GUNS) on backing vocals.